No school wants to receive an 'inadequate' or 'requires improvement' rating because of an Ofsted comment like this one:
'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'.
All schools have to deal with attendance and absence; every school, every pupil, every day.
Most people think attendance law is all about 'truancy' and what parents must do; fines and unauthorised absences etc. But it's mostly about what schools must do. That's my main focus. It's a key pastoral care and 'Leadership and Management' issue. There are also crucial elements of safeguarding. It may be worth the time to check your school's compliance before Ofsted does!
Many of those doing or managing this work have never had any training or ever 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.
Everything we do should aim to be lawful, thoughtful, caring and effective.
I will send you the pack by email on request, (£50 no VAT). If you invite me to work with your school (see below), the pack is included FREE or discounted from the fee if you have already paid for it.
'Really useful resources. This has saved me hours!'
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. Also includes copies of DfE Guidance and supporting reading, with an audit and action-planning tool and a model policy.
In the Midlands area ONLY a 90 minute briefing session is also available for individual school Governing bodies. The Resource Pack is included.
I offer a half-day single school ATTENDANCE MANAGEMENT AUDIT for senior leaders and key staff. As well as looking at your registration practice, I will help you complete the audit tool and work through the PowerPoint in the RESOURCE PACK above, all of which is included. It focuses on the legal framework within which all schools have to operate, DfE regulations and Ofsted expectations, policy issues and achieving best practice in day-to-day attendance management. If your LA no longer provides advice or an independent audit, how do you know you are doing things correctly?
Additional travel expenses etc. only 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 requesting the pack.
For costs see details in the pack download above.
'Many thanks indeed for your support last week. The session was invaluable'..
Do those who are responsible for attendance management know why children are absent and understand the legal framework within which they have to work? What underpinning policies and procedures do you need? The DfE Governors' Handbook specifies that they should oversee the school's registration practice in order to monitor its effectiveness and ensure compliance with the Regulations. How will they do that? Schools are increasingly taking over responsibilities that were previously carried out by local authorities and employing their own staff to do them. How can leaders ensure they are properly managed, supervised and trained?
I can deliver a local interactive training day on request for participants of your choosing. Why not host an event for representatives from local schools or those in your group/MAT? Contents and costs in the download above.
'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 practical 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, how to respond effectively and getting the support you need. Download details above.
This training is intended for school-based Attendance Officers, those who deal with entering registration data, family and parenting workers etc. Each method involves the delivery of an initial day's WORKSHOP with the OPTION of further reading and written responses, plus on-going advice and individual written feedback by email with tutor accreditation. Both methods INCLUDE practical resources including a GROUPWORK programme for use with targeted pupils at KS2/3.
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 'attendance' page.
I am committed to a welfare-based strategic approach to attendance and absence rather than a focus on fines. 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 more effective solutions for those children and young people who most need them. I don't do twitter but I do 'whitter' about education welfare issues. Currently: Are the holiday fines fair and are they working?
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 religions take us where we need to go as modern, thoughtful human beings. It's life before death that matters, so how do we decide how to live it?
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.