A welfare-based approach to managing school attendance and absence
My focus is on helping schools to act in ways that are lawful, thoughtful, caring and effective. Attendance work is not primarily about percentages, league-tables or issuing penalty fines for holidays, but part of every school's pastoral concern for their pupils. Getting it right, and for every child, requires training, strategic planning and fair policies and procedures. Have you ever thought about WHY you do what you do and whether it actually works?
'I attended your Pupil Attendance and Absence Workshop on Friday 12 May. 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'.
I AM NOW TAKING A BREAK TILL SEPTEMBER
The Supreme Court has said that every school has to determine its own 'rules' about attendance with which parents should then comply. But the 2006 Registration Regulations and the 2016 DfE Guidance must be consulted first. Many of those dealing with attendance have never actually read them but they define how most day-to-day issues should be handled. Is all your practice lawful?
And then what will you do with all the data you record? How much do you know about the various kinds of absence in your school? They're not all the same. What's the story behind the headlines? The actions you take will need to match each child's circumstances if they're going to make any real difference, not just be a computer-generated standard process once absence reaches a certain level. Even if your school's attendance is really good, or absences have all been authorised, a pastoral response may still be required. It's not only about enforcement.
There seems to be a growing climate of hostility and mistrust towards parents and children; an expectation that they must always fit in with whatever schools demand. But the law tries to strike a balance; it doesn't give schools all the rights and parents all the duties. Both schools and parents may need to do things differently if attendance is to be properly managed. Not every absence is necessarily a 'problem' to be criticised. Children are individuals with lives outside school, not just statistics.
If this all sounds too 'soft' then my style is not for you. But if you want to make sure your school's practice meets legal requirements and understand more about the REASONS why attendance may be an issue, and how best to respond, then perhaps I can help.
I can provide self-study resources and activity packs by email or run policy audits and training events at your school to help you ensure best practice. This means you can tailor the timing, content and participants to your requirements, and at a much lower cost per head than sending people on conventional courses. Address the issues specifically as they affect your school. Even better value if a group of local schools can collaborate and arrange an event for their staff together.
- all my products and events include on-going advice by email on request
- unlimited future use in your school of all the resources and training materials provided
- no VAT is payable on any of my fees
- travel expenses etc. only outside the Midlands area
Resource and Groupwork Packs
REGULARLY UPDATED. Do you need to refresh your own and your colleagues' awareness of current issues in attendance but don't have time to attend a course or arrange an event? Do you need information quickly for a governors' meeting or a pre-Ofsted review? I sell a RESOURCE PACK sent by email for self-study and unlimited future use in your school and a GROUPWORK pack to support your work with targeted pupils.
MANAGING ATTENDANCE AND ABSENCE
ATTENDANCE GROUPWORK ACTIVITY PACK (KS2/3)
'Really useful resources. This has saved me hours!'
The resource pack will help you to address your strategic and leadership responsibilities in a very cost-effective and flexible way. It includes copies of DfE Guidance and supporting reading, with exercises and activities, including 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.
Half-day Attendance Seminar and Audit
In the Midlands area only I offer a half-day SEMINAR/AUDIT for senior leaders and key pastoral staff on developing effective attendance policies and procedures. This is based around the PowerPoint and other materials in the RESOURCE PACK. It focuses on the legal framework within which schools have to operate and achieving best practice in registration and attendance management. Contact me if you are interested in this option, before or after ordering the pack. The pack is either provided free of charge or discounted from the Seminar fee if you have already purchased it and then wish to request the Seminar/Audit later.
'Many thanks indeed for your support last week. The session was invaluable'..
Whole-day Attendance Workshop with optional 4 unit reading course, written work and tutor feedback
This one-day training event or extended study programme is designed for a group of schools to request, at a time and venue of your choosing. They are intended for school-based Attendance Officers, parenting workers etc. 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. See link below for details. Additional charges for travel etc.if outside the Midlands area.