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Strategies for improving attendance in sixth form?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by Geordie05, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. Geordie05

    Geordie05 New commenter

    <address>I work in a school with a large sixth form and have some responsibility for attendance. Although we do alot to improve sixth form attendance (e.g. monitoring attendance closely, meet with parents and students, use action plans and contracts, have rewards assemblies, phone home a lot) overall attendance has fallen a little this year. Does anyone have any effective strategies for improving attendance in sixth form? [​IMG]</address>
     
  2. Geordie05

    Geordie05 New commenter

    <address>I work in a school with a large sixth form and have some responsibility for attendance. Although we do alot to improve sixth form attendance (e.g. monitoring attendance closely, meet with parents and students, use action plans and contracts, have rewards assemblies, phone home a lot) overall attendance has fallen a little this year. Does anyone have any effective strategies for improving attendance in sixth form? [​IMG]</address>
     
  3. ferrisbueller

    ferrisbueller New commenter

    We use a few strategies - with varying success...
    1. Clarity of expectations BEFORE students join the sixth form e.g Assemblies, enrolment day, open evening.
    2. Electronic register in morning and afternoon.
    3. Expectation that ALL students attend every morning registration regardless of whether they have a study period.
    4. ALL absences where parents or students haven't contacted school are contacted EACH day by
    a. Text message
    b. Sometimes a phone call
    5. If more than 3 lates in a half term put on late report. If this doesn't work we then get more involved.
    6. Not being afraid to make tough decisions in terms of asking students to leave if none of the above has no effect.
    7. Parents are able to have open access to their childrens register and can check attendance for themselves.
    Saying all these things, I know how difficult it can be with Sixth Formers. Some parents wipe their hands of responsibilities for their childrens attendance post 16. Some actively will support their child and lie to the school !!
    If it is attendance to lessons then we don't wait. They have an immediate meeting and parents are informed. They are then monitored through an attendance report.
    I'm interested in what you do in 'reward assemblies'. My initial thoughts are that some students post 16 would feel this to be a bit 'lower school'. I'm interested in how it works.
     
  4. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    One of my students recently told me that a requirement for passing IB diploma is 90% attendance, unless there's a provable and justifiable reason for less. If this is indeed the case it sounds a good idea.

    Maybe Edexcel, OCR etc. ought to introduce a similar requirement.
     
  5. Geordie05

    Geordie05 New commenter

    Thanks, we dont have number 7 in place, but will have a online "parent portal" shortly, so perhaps that is something we could look at. We also dont use a text messaging system. The problem is policing it all as so many students are late/absent, that there isnt time to make all the phone calls!
    The rewards assembly probably was a little lower schoolish, although it seemed to go down reasonably well. Students with 99% or 100% attendance went into a draw to win vouchers. There were not many in draw, so several students went home with lots of money! Also each department nominated a student to recieve a prize and each Form Tutor nominated one of their tutees. We have a budget for "rewards" which allowed us to do this.
     
  6. Geordie05

    Geordie05 New commenter

    As far as I am aware 90% attendance is expected generally. However, I doubt it is enforced, hence our problems!
     
  7. I bet that goes down well! My children loved it when they had a free/study period first lesson; an extra lie in!!
     
  8. Just a thought...
    I'm currently on supply in an 11-16 school, so I'm a bit out of the loop with regards to EMA, but if students are eligible for this, and it's not yet been scrapped, can you not use this as a means of improving attendance?
    We used this strategy in another school that I worked in and would also not sign their EMA card if homework had not been completed, so it was also a great tool for raising attainment.

     

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