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Poor pupil attendance-interventions?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by aypi, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. aypi

    aypi Established commenter

    If a pupil has say 60% attendance, and the school had written letters home, had the carer in for a chat, and there is still no improvement, what would happen at your school? Would external agencies become involved? Does that improve attendance?

    I am finding that the external agencies are as ineffective as the letter home.
  2. moscowbore

    moscowbore Senior commenter

    Schools need to be seen to be doing something so that they cannot be held responsible for child protection issues. Schools need a paper trail.

    In my experience the external agencies all need a paper trail too. Their focus is on the paper trail, not the human being who is the subject of the paperwork.

    In my experience, a student decides when they attend. Not much changes that.
    agathamorse and Dyathinkhesaurus like this.
  3. aypi

    aypi Established commenter

    agathamorse and Dyathinkhesaurus like this.
  4. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    60% would set the alarm bells ringing round my way. They'd have an attendance welfare officer from my LA on their doorstep pretty quickly. I appreciate that we don't know the full story here - 60% over what period of time, previous record, explanations/evidence offered by parent/carer etc.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. aypi

    aypi Established commenter

    What could the welfare officer do if the pupil still did not attend?
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. Lalex123

    Lalex123 Occasional commenter

    Somewhere I worked used to send the PCSO and school attendance officer round to wake them up and bring them in.

    Another place I worked at held meetings with parents, SLT, a local council representative/housing officer and PCSO.

    These worked but were a lot of effort!
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Prosecute the parents in magistrates court is one option.
    Catgirl1964 and agathamorse like this.
  8. history200

    history200 New commenter

    I work as an attendance manager for a cluster of schools. Where schools have exhausted all options with a child/family including Fast Track fines, unauthorised holiday fines and having the meetings which form stage 1 of the legal process, they then refer the case to me. I undertake a lot of work with families. Depending upon the age of the child and the needs of the family, I can do various pieces of work with them. If they chose not to engage with me at stage 2, then I refer for legal action through the magistrates or family courts. Our LEA Attendance Team pick it up at that point. Prolific non-attenders often receive large fines, or we can push for Education Supervision Orders or Parenting Orders.
    It must be recognised though that different authorities have different processes and procedures. Not everyone will have access to the same resources.
    agathamorse, aypi and Rott Weiler like this.
  9. aypi

    aypi Established commenter

    Thanks history200.
    Can you give approximate time scales for ones who refuse to improve:
    How long does it take the school to identify and get a pupil to you?
    How long before you have to refer them on?
    How long before the courts deal with the case?

    We dont seem to have anything beyond Stage 1.

  10. history200

    history200 New commenter

    It depends upon the individual case really. Schools tend to refer to me when the child has dropped below 70%, as they can't get Fast Tracks through below this figure. Although I do have some on case load that are in the 80s. I can work with them as long as I need to, we have some cases that have been open to cluster attendance for a couple of years. If parents are responding and trying to improve attendance then we support them and leave it open longer. If they are totally ignoring me (standard practice unfortunately) then I will arrange a SAP (school attendance panel) meeting pretty quickly. This tends to lead to a monitoring period of at least 4 weeks with targets to improve. We try to do at least two reviews before we transfer to the LEA team for failure to improve. Unfortunately there is no quick fix, but in that time I gather as much evidence as possible of non-engagement, so that it can all be used as evidence in court.
    The courts in my area are experiencing a significant backlog at the minute, it is taking about 6 months for them to get through. Unfortunately that means some families are receiving fines after the child has left in year 11. Not ideal, but they get the message that younger siblings need to be in school, or that the young person needs to be in education, employment or training until they are 18.
  11. aypi

    aypi Established commenter

    Very useful to see what happens elsewhere.
    thank you.
    history200 likes this.

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