No school wants to receive an Ofsted report like these:
'Registers of attendance are not consistently accurate and leaders do not have secure systems in place to check on the welfare of pupils who have been absent for some time. Consequently leaders cannot know for sure who is, or is not, in school'.
'There are multiple errors in the completion of registers. Inspectors found that marks indicating attendance had been entered when in fact there had been pupil absence for multiple sessions. This means that the school does not know whether pupils are safe because they cannot say with any accuracy where they are. These errors had gone unnoticed'.
All schools have to deal with attendance and absence; every school, every pupil, every day.
Most people think attendance law is all about what parents must do; fines and unauthorised absences etc. But it's mostly about what schools must do. That's my main focus. Headteachers are legally accountable for a whole range of statutory duties; from keeping daily registers to what to put in them and what needs doing as a result.
Many of those doing or managing this work have never had any training or even read the key Regulations or the latest DfE Guidance about how it should be done. But they define how most day-to-day issues should be handled. You can't just make up your own rules. There are also times when there are no 'rules' and you have to use your discretion. So how do you decide?
Absences are not all the same and Ofsted expects leaders to have a clear grasp of what is going on in your specific setting. I offer an approach that takes a considered, strategic and pragmatic view of how to manage and improve attendance. We may all need to do things differently, not just parents.
The actions you take will need to match each child's circumstances, not just be a computer-generated standard process once absence reaches a certain level. It's not only about the data. Even if your school's attendance is very good, or absences have all been authorised, (as four out of five are), a pastoral or safeguarding response may still be required.
Everything we do should aim to be lawful, thoughtful, caring and effective.
SELF-STUDY RESOURCE PACK BY EMAIL
HALF-DAY IN-SCHOOL AUDIT/SEMINAR/+ INSET
GROUP WORKSHOP WITH OPTIONAL FOLLOW-UP STUDY
Do you need to refresh your own and your colleagues' awareness of your attendance and absence duties but don't have the opportunity to attend training near you or time to arrange your own event?
Do you need information quickly for a governors' meeting or for a pre-Ofsted review?
I can provide you with a RESOURCE PACK sent by email for self-study and unlimited future use in your school which includes a GROUPWORK programme to help targeted pupils at KS2/3 to improve their attendance. Download details below.
'Really useful resources. This has saved me hours!'
The resource pack will help your school's key leaders to address their strategic responsibilities in a very cost-effective and flexible way. It includes copies of DfE Guidance and supporting reading, with exercises and activities, an audit tool and model policy. Study the contents at your own pace, identify what you need to do next and then cascade the information to your senior colleagues, governors or whole staff using the INCLUDED Power Point presentation with delivery Notes.
In the Midlands area ONLY I offer this package as a training opportunity for individual school Governing bodies.
I also offer a half-day single school SEMINAR or AUDIT for senior leaders and key pastoral staff on developing more effective attendance policies and registration procedures. This is based around the PowerPoint and other materials in the RESOURCE PACK above. It focuses on the legal framework within which all schools have to operate, Ofsted expectations and achieving best practice in day-to-day attendance management. (Additional travel costs etc. if outside the Midands area or can be combined with a staff or governor INSET to make a whole day).
Contact me if you are interested in any of these delivery options, before or after ordering the pack.
For costs see details in the download above.
'Many thanks indeed for your support last week. The session was invaluable'..
'I really found the workshop useful, relevant, practical and informative. I would definitely recommend it as a must do workshop for anyone working in attendance.Your knowledge and presentation were excellent'.
This one-day training event or extended study course is offered with or without additional reading and follow-up written work. It is designed for a group of schools to request for local delivery, at a time and venue of your choosing with a set fee for up to 12 participants.
Covers the law on attendance and registration, coding issues, Ofsted expectations, understanding your school's unique absence profile, the links to safeguarding and working with the local authority, as all schools still have to do. Download details below.
This training is intended for school-based Attendance Officers, those who deal with registration data, parenting workers etc. and those who manage them. Each method involves the delivery of an initial day's WORKSHOP with the OPTION of further reading and written responses, an in-school self-audit tool, plus on-going advice and individual written feedback by email with tutor accreditation. Both methods INCLUDE practical resources for use in the schools concerned.
MY CHOSEN CHARITY
Make a loan. Change a life.
My website has had a makeover. You'll still find everything you need for my professional offer as an Independent Education Welfare Consultant and Trainer on the 'work' page.
I am committed to a welfare-based strategic approach to attendance and absence rather than a focus on enforcement. I may not always tell you exactly what you think you want to hear or repeat what you always thought was true. But I will offer you an informed and independent voice that gives you real practical help in carrying out your statutory duties and seeks to promote creative solutions for those children and young people who most need them. I don't do twitter but I do 'whitter' about education welfare issues.
But there is more to life than work so you'll also find a page about my humanist approach to spirituality where I write about the dialogue between faith and life for those who are not convinced that conventional religion necessarily takes us where we need to go as modern, thoughtful human beings. Life before death is what matters, not speculation about what might happen afterwards.
Feedback and comment are always very welcome.
ALL INFORMATION AND ADVICE PROVIDED ON THIS WEBSITE, AND IN RELATED RESOURCES AND EVENTS, IS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH AND IS TRUE AND ACCURATE TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE AND BELIEF. HOWEVER NO LIABILTY IS ACCEPTED FOR ANY ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES ARISING THEREFROM OR FOR ANY IMPLICATIONS OF UNINTENDED ERRORS. I HAVE BOTH PUBLIC LIABILITY AND PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE.