The Importance of Addressing The Issue of School Absences
Absence from school can be one of the most complex areas to address, as it is often the symptom of other issues. Schools have the primary role in trying to identify the underlying causes of non-attendance. In order to effect a change and improve overall attendance and reduce persistent absenteeism it is essential for schools and local authority partners to provide well-coordinated, planned interventions.
Absence from school can impact on the life chances of children and young people and can also be a significant issue within the safeguarding agenda. Pupils who are absent from school without authorisation are often pupils who are disengaged and disaffected, and therefore vulnerable.
The Challenge for Attendance in Liverpool
Liverpool faces a significant challenge in improving overall attendance rates and reducing persistent absenteeism. Absence figures although improving, are higher than the national average of other major cities. Therefore, improving school attendance and reducing persistent absenteeism, is a key priority for Liverpool City Council and its family of schools. It is essential to the city’s ambition to raise standards and secure the best outcomes for all young people: this can only be achieved by ensuring children attend school and are ready to learn.
About the Attendance Quality Mark
- To assist in improving individual school absence and PA rates
- To acknowledge and share good practice and make connections across schools and sectors
- To maintain the profile of Attendance as a key strategic priority for the city and schools
- To celebrate some of the innovative practice in schools and build a resource base for all schools to access.
The LAQM criteria have been designed to help schools to evaluate their strategies to improve attendance and reduce persistent absence. The assessment criteria are grouped under six key themes:
- Policy Framework
- Leadership and Management
- Effectiveness of Strategies to improve attendance and reduce PA
- Relationship and Engagement with all stakeholders
- Use of Data
- Quality of Provision
This table shows that schools who have taken part in the Attendance Quality Mark have improved their attendance at a faster rate than all schools and reduced PA more significantly.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Attendance Quality Mark please contact Carolyn Harkness.