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Event Summary

School is the best place for the development and wellbeing of children. Chronic pupil absence is linked to reduced academic performance, drug and alcohol use, and criminality. 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*.

Following its recent Consultation**, the Government will bring in new guidance on school attendance. This includes a requirement that every school publishes an attendance policy for the 2022-2023 school year and new expectations for local authority attendance support services.

Join Westminster Insight’s timely School Attendance Digital Conference to learn about the steps that schools and local authorities can take to improve attendance for all pupils and re-engage children who have become severely absent.

Hear from a range of experts and practitioners from schools, Government, local authorities, and the third sector. Explore the causes of persistent absenteeism and gain practical guidance on how you can identify and support pupils at risk. Create a culture of high attendance. Find out how to improve communication with families, students and agencies to ensure each pupil receives tailored, multi-agency support.

Learn about the changing role of local authorities in providing attendance support for families. ‘Missing’ children have been identified as the most vulnerable with a heightened safeguarding risk. Gain advice for what should be done when safeguarding and mental health concerns are raised.

* Centre for Social Justice. Lost but not forgotten: the reality of severe absence in schools post-lockdown

** School attendance: improving consistency of support – Government response, May 2022

Key Points

  • Keynote: Hear from Jocelyn Shaw, Deputy Director for Schools Attendance at the DfE on the Government’s plans to improve school attendance
  • Creating an attendance policy for your school or setting
  • Get practical advice on how you can identify and address the root causes of persistent absence
  • Hear the latest behaviourally informed approaches to communication
  • Discuss how to build trust and address absences within hard-to-reach groups
  • The changing role of local authorities in school attendance – providing whole-family support and re-engaging children missing education
  • The use of fixed penalty notices for absence
  • Understand how you can better support pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs to improve attendance and re-engage those who have become withdrawn from education
  • Joined up working between schools, parents, local authority attendance services, early help workers, and wider local services