Event Summary

By Autumn 2021, the number of children persistently absent from school had more than doubled compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2018/19. Recent reports suggest that there are now up to 100,000 missing or ‘ghost’ children who have not returned to school since the Covid-19 lockdowns*. With chronic absence linked to reduced academic performance, drug and alcohol use and criminality, it has never been more vital to improve attendance rates.

Westminster Insight’s School Attendance Conference is ideally timed to review how schools, Multi-Academy Trusts, Colleges and Local Authorities are implementing the latest Government guidance to drive school attendance to exceed pre-pandemic levels.

The Schools Bill is intended to bring into force new legislation on attendance from September 2023. Hear from a range of educational establishments about how they are preparing for the Bill by implementing recommendations from the Department for Education’s (DfE) ‘Working Together to Improve School Attendance Guidance’. From developing attendance policies, creating a culture of positive attendance, to recording and analysing attendance data to identify patterns, pupils and cohorts of concern.

Explore how Local Authorities are meeting the DfE’s new expectations by using data to unblock area-wide barriers to absence, providing families with more wrap around multi-agency support and updating the legal interventions in their tool belt for tackling absence.

Understand the reasons behind absence, especially for particularly vulnerable cohorts of pupils at risk of missing education. Hear how providing tailored support for mental health, safeguarding, behavioural, learning and often practical needs can help keep children in education.

Hear directly from parents who have challenges with their children attending school to explore the best ways to engage with families, and what support and resources they need to help address their child’s absence.

*Centre for Social Justice

Key Topics

  • Gain insight into implications of the Schools Bill and how you can prepare for incoming attendance legislation
  • Hear how education providers are implementing recommendations from the DfE’s ‘Working Together to Improve School Attendance Guidance’
  • Share effective absence policies, use of attendance data and ways to embed a culture of positive school attendance
  • Explore how Local Authorities are meeting new expectations to tackle absence through better use of local data, family support and legal interventions
  • Gain a greater understanding of how to overcome attendance barriers with tailored support for particularly vulnerable learners
  • Put your questions to our panel of parents about how to improve parental engagement to better support them to overcome barriers to their child’s attendance