22/01/2024 - Permalink

Council supports campaign to help reduce number of children who regularly miss school

Related topics: Children's services / Partner organisations

Shropshire Council is reaching out to parents and carers to work together to help reduce school absences.

The call out is part of a new national campaign launched this month by the Department for Education (DfE) to remind parents and carers of the importance of school attendance.

The “Moments Matter, Attendance Counts” campaign aims to primarily reach those parents and carers whose children are taking preventable odd days of absence – known as ‘avoidable absence’ – rather than children who face greater barriers to attendance, such as those with long term medical needs or special educational needs and disabilities.

"Moments Matter, Attendance Counts" campaign poster, with 3 smiling children

“Moments Matter, Attendance Counts” campaign

The campaign includes information, advice and tips on where parents can look for support on the DfE’s Education Hub. The hub also includes resources dedicated to children and young people’s general mental health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on mindfulness with developing coping skills in young people.

Shropshire’s attendance is rising, and is in line with the national average for school attendance. Though it remains lower than in pre-pandemic times, and we want to work together to see attendance increase even more.

Shropshire overall attendance for the academic year 2022/23 to date was 93.1%, in line with the national average of 93.2%.

Parents and carers are advised to contact their school’s pastoral team if they have concerns about their child’s attendance. Parents and carers can also ask to speak in confidence to the council’s education welfare officer allocated to their child’s school.

Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children and education. said:

“Improving school attendance is everyone’s business; and to tackle the challenge we face, we need to work together.

“While it’s extremely promising we’re seeing a positive reduction in the number of children and young people absent, compared to last year, this still remains higher than pre-pandemic times.

“We know that being in school and having the best attendance possible has a fundamental impact for a child, such as on their learning, wellbeing, and wider development. For some children attending school every day will be harder than for others. This is why Shropshire Council and schools across the county are committed to working together with families to solve problems and support your child’s school attendance.

“It is therefore important to us that all children feel safe and supported when attending school, and our schools and education welfare officers are on hand to work together with parents,  carers and their children, to support them to be in school when they should be.

“If your child is finding it difficult to attend school every day, then please do contact your school in the first instance to talk to someone about your concerns.”

Parents and carers can access the Education Hub at How to improve your child’s school attendance and where to get support   – The Education Hub (blog.gov.uk)

For further education advice, visit the council’s schools and education pages here: Schools and education | Shropshire Council

Shropshire Council’s mental health webpages at Mental health and wellbeing | Shropshire Council include details of local support for children and young people.

Further information

To find out more about the “Moments Matter, Attendance Counts” campaign visit Major national drive to improve school attendance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)