School Attendance hitting the Headlines across the UK
This week alone, there have been multiple headlines in the media about school attendance in London, Cornwall, Bath, Warrington and Birmingham; with Yorkshire topping the table in England for all the wrong reasons. With attendance figures in many authorities having been calculated; the best and worst performing schools (regarding attendance) have been released.
School attendance has has been a hot topic in the media since the government clamped down on term-time absence four years ago, with headteachers having been given the option to fine parents for taking their children out of school during term time. Local councils can impose fines of £60 on parents who fail to ensure their children’s attendance at school, rising to £120 if not paid within 21 days.
There are very good reasons which are in the best interests of a child’s education as to why the rules apply. It’s important that children attend school so that they can reach their full potential – which is clearly more difficult when they are being taken out of school during term time. Whilst there is sympathy for parents who opt to take their children on holiday during term time because the cost is prohibitive during the holidays; nevertheless, state secondary schools are required to provide a minimum of 190 days of teaching each year and when pupils are persistently absent this can cause real issues. (The Government defines children as ‘persistently absent’ if they miss 10% of their classes).
Whilst much unauthorised absence falls under the category of holidays during term time, nevertheless in some areas of the country, regular truancy remains a termly battle. Schools are increasingly looking for methods to monitor and handle absence, not least to protect their own reputation as a school, but also to ensure that they meet Government standards whilst also protect their pupils’ well-being and giving them the best education possible.
Truancy Call is an attendance monitoring application which can massively reduce the administration associated with monitoring school absence. Not only that, but schools who use it are able to put a tangible figure on how it has helped to reduce unauthorised absence.
Schools like Trinity Catholic School in Leamington Spa, whose Attendance Manager says,
“Before implementing Truancy Call in school, I spent a lot of my time calling parents to ascertain reasons for absence/late marks which wasn’t an effective use of my time. Truancy Call works in the background and writes back to our MIS, saving us both time, and money as I can be doing other tasks that I am responsible for.
It has also reduced unauthorised absence by at least 10% in the school which has helped increased attainment. Students know that parents will get a call/text/email if they are truanting and the system works 100% for that reason alone!
It is a huge safeguarding tool as parents who were not aware their child was not in school are alerted quickly and efficiently. It also works well as a reminder to parents who have forgotten to call in for their child. I’d recommend this product to any school looking to save time, money and reduce unauthorised absence. And on top of that, the system is cost effective and really easy to use and I love it!”
Want to know more about how to tackle absence in your school?
Book an online demonstration of Truancy Call here, or call the team on 03333 13 14 15.