The Strategic Approach
We adopt the 5 Foundations of Effective Attendance Practice framework, this is modelled on the work of Professor Katherine Weare. The emphasis is on developing a school culture and climate which builds a sense of connectedness and belonging to ensure all children can attend school and thrive. The approach ensures we prioritise building solid working relationships with children / parents prior to any escalation.
The staged approach we use ensures we identify triggers early that can lead to poor attendance issues such as; mental health issues, lack of trust, communication and relationship breakdowns and the possible lack of networking opportunities both internal (in-school) and external (external agencies).
The Foundations framework has most recently been reviewed by the Department for Education. The Foundations framework received an excellent report following the four-day review.
“The Foundations approach is an excellent example of best practice; there are very clear and detailed systems and procedures in place to manage absence and attendance consistently”.
(Michelle O’Dell DFE Attendance Advisor March 2022)
Aims of the strategy
- Increase school Attendance and reduce Persistent Absence to meet set targets.
- Ensure Attendance is well managed within the school, with the appropriate level of resources allocated.
- Enable the school to make informed use of Attendance data to target interventions appropriately, focusing on the key demographic groups highlighted in the 2022 DFE paper.
- Create an ethos within the school in which good attendance is recognised as the norm and every child/young person aims for excellent attendance.
- Make attendance and punctuality a priority.
- Set focused targets to improve individual attendance and whole school attendance levels.
- Embed the 5 Foundations of Effective Attendance Practice framework which defines agreed roles and responsibilities and promotes consistency in carrying out designated tasks with respect to promoting attendance and punctuality.
- Record and monitor attendance and absenteeism and apply appropriate strategies to minimise absenteeism.
- Develop a systematic approach to gathering and analysing relevant attendance data.
provide support, advice and guidance to; parents, children and young people and develop mutual cooperation between home and the school in encouraging good attendance and in addressing identified attendance issues.
- Demonstrate through the use of rewards that the school recognises good attendance and punctuality are achievements in themselves.
The school has a fully embedded ethos in which excellent school attendance is expected, developed and nurtured. An escalated approach ensures the school has a deeply embedded and consistent whole school approach to improving attendance.
The approach to improving attendance is built on solid policies, systems and processes; this ensures sustainable and continuous improvement drives practice. Succession planning is built around an effective systems leadership model - rather than that of an individual Attendance Leader. The Attendance Policy drives school practice, it is deeply embedded in daily practise and ensures the school sets, and maintains, high expectations to improve the culture of attendance.
The school prioritises developing a fully engaged team of attendance experts, with a shared vision and core purpose. Through this development the Attendance Leader will raise the status of attendance and ensure improved attendance is both sustained and continuous. CPD will support staff at all levels to fully understand their role in supporting attendance. The development of external partnerships will support attendance improvements through a multi-disciplinary approach for identified children and families.
Data information and analysis direct resources proactively towards key demographic groups and identified individuals. The expert use of data analysis informs decision making at all levels. A rigorous and effective attendance cycle ensures the Attendance Leader not only captures key information but also further understands the ‘deeper roots’ that creates barriers regarding attendance to school.
Connecting and belonging drives the school approach to supporting attendance - this is deeply embedded in an evidence-based approach. The school has effective routines in place that are followed by staff. Staff at all levels within the school understand the 'deeper roots' regarding poor attendance and this is supported through a systematic approach. The school has developed, and embedded, an effective rewards system to further drive attendance improvements and celebrate success.
DFE: Working Together To Improve Attendance 2022.
From September 2022 the DFE: Working Together To Improve Attendance paper will replace all previous guidance on school attendance except for statutory guidance for parental responsibility measures. The Secretary of State has committed to it becoming statutory when parliamentary time allows (this will be no sooner than September 2023).
The table below identifies how the 5 Foundations of Effective Attendance Practice will underpin the DFE 2022 paper in meeting the summary of expectations.