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Improving school attendance as 1.8M students regularly miss school

The number of children regularly missing school during the first term of the 2021-2022 academic year has reached almost 1.8 million, according to BBC.

There is a growing concern around the increase of absences, suggesting that children never fully returned to lessons following the national lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

According to Dame Rachel de Souza there is an urgent need to identify children most at risk and the reason behind their absences, as investigations bring concerns over vulnerable group of children. 

"I'm worried about children missing education but also safeguarding and helping those who most need to be back at school to be back."

Dame Rachel de Souza

To tackle the absences, there have been an increasing number of fines handed out to parents by schools, totalling £3.7million for the school year so far, according to a BBC report. Parents whose kids are regularly absent from school and fail to show cooperation and willingness to encourage the kids to attend school, are faced with a £60 fixed penalty notice, rising to £120 if not paid within two weeks.

The reason behind the absences varies, with some families facing "heart-wrenching" struggles, according to Katie Coates who works with families to encourage kids to attend school. 

To read the full BBC report, visit the BBC website.

To prepare for forthcoming changes to guidance and legislation surrounding school attendance and delve into recent research findings into what works in improving school attendance, see our upcoming courses:


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