Every school, every pupil, every day.
You might think that attendance law is all about term-time holidays and what parents must do. Of course it is about that, for some children. But it's mostly about what schools must do, and for everyone on roll. If the published information is accurate, attendance in most schools has improved in recent years, but are you doing everything correctly? Is your data reliable?
Most of those doing or managing this vital work have never read the key DfE Guidance and Regulations, so how can you be sure? An assistant head has been struck off from teaching for falsifying the official figures. Other senior leaders have been forced to resign. Ofsted has identified hundreds of schools that may have off-registered pupils illegally. Parents have rights as well as duties; what is a fair balance between the two that all schools need to be aware of?
Absences are not all the same. It's not all 'truancy'. I identify at least 8 different kinds in my training. No 'one-size fits all' approach will work for every parent or child. So I take a considered and pragmatic view of how to deal with attendance and absence, based on a careful analysis of the issues and a thorough knowledge of the legal framework within which we all have to operate.
Everything we do should aim to be lawful, thoughtful, caring and effective.
I now offer a FREE Q and A advice service via the CONTACT ME page. Send me your attendance and absence query and I'll respond by email as quickly as I can.
What does every staff member need to know about attendance and absence? Who's going to tell them? Self-study Power Point presentation with delivery Notes PLUS copies of the updated Registration Regulations, DfE Guidance 2018, an exercise and advice on using the codes, a model policy + additional reading.
Includes a BONUS Power Point on the powers available to local authorities.
Sent to you by email. See details above. 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.
In the Midlands area only, if you would rather invite me to work with your school in person for a half-day Attendance Review and Audit with key staff and managers, the pack is included FREE, together with an additional audit. Or add a Governors' briefing to a preparatory audit meeting with key staff, to make a session from afternoon to early evening. See details above.
'Really useful resources. This has saved me hours!'
Good governance is a major contributor to good attendance. The DfE specifies that governors should oversee the school's registration practice in order to monitor its effectiveness and to ensure compliance with the law. In the Midlands area only I offer a 90-minute ATTENDANCE MANAGEMENT BRIEFING for whole governing bodies. I will work through the PowerPoint in the RESOURCE PACK above, all of which is included FREE and leave you with an attendance and absence audit tool to follow-up the session.
See details above. This session focuses on the legal framework within which all schools have to work, DfE regulations and Ofsted expectations, policy and safeguarding issues and the role of the governing body (or equivalent). If your LA no longer provides advice or an independent audit, how can governors be sure your school is doing everything that is required?
'Many thanks indeed for your support last week. The session was really helpful'.
'We really enjoyed the day, the information and experience you shared were invaluable'
Most of your work on attendance is probably running smoothly. But there may be a few advisories that you need to be aware of and perhaps even the odd major issue that needs immediate attention. This is an opportunity for senior leaders to give their school a check just to be sure.
Who's in your school's 'attendance team'? Have they ever had any training? Does everyone understand the law that defines our duties and powers? What underpinning policies and procedures do you need to ensure best practice? Are you aware of the relevant Regulations and DfE Guidance? Who's monitoring that things are being done correctly? Is the necessary governance in place? What will Ofsted expect to see?
PLUS: 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 equipped, supervised and trained?
I can deliver an in-school interactive training day for as many participants as you wish. See more details and programme above:
'I would definitely recommend it as a must do workshop for anyone working in attendance'.
This practical one-day training event specifically for Attendance Officers is designed for a group of schools to request for local delivery.. This training is also useful for those who deal with registration data, family and parenting workers in schools etc.
INCLUDES a range of resources including a GROUPWORK programme for use with targeted pupils at KS2/3.
Covers the law on day-to-day attendance management and registration, coding issues, understanding your school's unique absence profile, how to respond effectively, working with the local authority, attendance tactics and ideas and getting the support you need. See more details and programme above.
This day can also be offered for LA Attendance Officers/EWOs rather than for schools, including attendance law and regulations, how to support schools with policy and audits and the best use of your statutory powers. See above for more details.
Make a loan. Change a life. Click the link above to find out how your school can get involved in supporting small businesses in developing countries with microloans that repay themselves so you can lend the same money again!
Attendance and absence have to be managed, like any other aspect of school life. Everyone is involved. I am committed to promoting a welfare-based and strategic approach, not only a focus on improving the figures. 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 which seeks to promote more effective solutions for those children and young people who most need them.
But there is more to life than work so you'll also find a page about humanism and spirituality where I write about whether Christianity can mean anything to those who are not convinced that conventional belief takes us where we need to go as modern, thoughtful human beings. Maybe we can help to re-invent it. I'm not a 'Christian' or even particularly 'religious' but I am human. It's life before death that matters, so how do we decide how to live it? Can we at least still walk the same road together?
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.