Under the Education Act 1996, the Council has a statutory duty to ensure children and young people receive fulltime, efficient education, which is suitable to the age, and ability and any special needs they may have. This is usually through attendance at school. The Education Welfare Service (EWS) is one agency which takes the lead role for the Council in supporting school attendance.
It will do this through working with children and families, supporting schools and linking with other agencies including the legal system. The EWS will look at a whole range of ideas for why the children aren’t attending school and will look at solutions for this whether it be legal action or just working closely with all involved for example parents, teachers and the school.
On the whole this is an extremely important agency which aims to get children into education and helps work out why they are not in education, however there are negative aspects to the agency as they may have to work closely with social services if the parents aren’t fulfilling there role and legal action may be taken again the parents aren’t fulfilling the responsibility although this is a negative aspect of the agency it is all in place for the overall well being of the child.
Police can work with local schools and EWC, by undertaking local patrols to detect truancy and going to local areas where children may hide out. By having the police involved children and parents will be able to understand the severity of truancy and poor school attendance which is a positive outcome. This can then lead on to the Youth Offending Team (YOT) whose staff identifies school attendance issues and work actively to resolve them. The Council will work with agencies such as housing companies, Police, Connexions, YOT and voluntary organisations to develop protocols to identify children without school places.
Overall these agencies are all there to help improve attendance in schools and all have the same aims, by working together with the school, agencies and organisiations the schools will be able to have the correct support in place for the children in and out of schools, parents and the teachers. The agencies are able to work out reasons for poor attendance and make sure issues are resolved. These organizations are here for a positive reason and to help children get the best education possible and cutting down on reasons for poor attendance. Explain the role of key individuals in improving whole school attendance.
Educational Welfare officers- Once a child is registered at a school, it is the parents legal duty to make sure that the child attends school regularly. The role of Education Welfare Officers is to work closely with schools, children and their parents, and with agencies to make sure this happens. The educational welfare officers will work closely with these people to find out why children arent attending regularly and figure out soloutions to ensure this changes. If the parents fail to cooperate and the child does not return to regular attendance at school, the Education Welfare Service may issue a Fixed Penalty Notice or take legal action.
Educational welfare officers can refer cases to other agencies such as social services, educational psychologists and health professionals. Ultimately their main responsibilities is to provide support to the children, the families and the school in all areas whether it to be advice on legal responsibilities, or building relationships between the school and the parents and making sure school attendance is at a maximum, if school attendance is not consistant then the educational welfare officers will look into reasons and solutions for this.
Teaching Support Workers- Support teachers are in classrooms to support teachers in what they are trying to achieve, they are also there to help individuals who are in need of support when learning, Support teachers are able to give the individuals in need of help more time and focus to help them through areas of difficulties. Having Teaching supports workers available will therefore mean children will feel supported in weak areas and therefore more progress will be made by children which will also boost confidence.
Children who are falling behind or children who do not understand specific areas of what they are being taught can become embarassed and withdrawn whilst lacking confidence this could lead to poor behaviour meaning suspension,exclusion,detention or missing school to avoid feeling embarrassed around peers. Having teaching support workers available will mean weak areas can be taregeted and help provided much quicker than just having one teacher in a classroom. Teaching support workers will be able to have the relevant training and guidance to help identify children who are struggling.
These are people who are their to support children with any behaviour or learning needs. Headteachers- Most of the duties of a headteacher is managerial and to make sure the school is running properly whilst also making sure everything necessary is provided for staff and pupils. Head teachers will need to make sure specific training is given to identify children who are struggling, making sure there are policies and procedures in place and followed by staff to prevent bullying and equal opportunities.
By making sure the children have the mose valuable expreience possible at school and working with children, parents and other agenicies to make sure everything is in place to keep attendace high, if children are struggling the support teacher are in place, if bullying is happening then this needs to be resolved quickly before the child becomes withdrawnand lacks confidence leading to poor attendance.
The head teacher will be able to use educational welfare officers and other agencies to help find ways of improving the school and making sure all areas of a childrens welfare are covered and the child is offered the support needed to enjoy school and attend school attaining the best qualifications possible. Special Educational Coordinators-
The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), in collaboration with the head teacher and governing body, plays a key role in determining the strategic development of the Special Educational Needs (SEN) policy and provision in the school to raise the achievement of children with special educational needs. The SENCO takes day-to-day responsibility for the operation of the policy and co-ordination of the provision made for individual children with special educational needs, working closely with staff, parents and carers and other agencies.
By having the special education needs co-ordinator this will mean that full support will be given to children in school meaning the chilldren can work to the maximum and achieve the most out of school with the full support and help from the teachers. This will also mean that children wont be embarrassed because they cannot keep up or understand the work and should hopefully stop the children turning to negative behaviour like missing school.
This will enable the school to give the children the best experience possible with the best possible outcomes and increased attendance therefore increasing grades attained by children. Explain strategies that can be used to improve the attendance of individual children and young people and whole school attendance Have an attendance policy in place make sure the children are fully aware of the steps that will be taken in cases of non attendance. Whilst making sure that parents follow the procedure for days that children are of sick.
Keep parents involved and build relationships with the parents using head teachers and teachers so that they are aware of any problems that maybe underlying at school at the present time which my result in non-attendance. It is also vital to make parents aware of any positive achievements that their son or daughter has achieved. Support available, makes sure that any children struggling in specific educational areas are identified as quickly as possible so that all relevant support and help can be put in place to help the child in the specified area.
The school can work in partnership with the educational welfare officer and the local authority to help target specific areas of need. Use rewards and incentives to encourage attendance and punctuality such as certificates for high attendance and increased incentive for the higher attendance and punctuality as the year progresses. Once a child has been absent from school make sure they reintegrate into the school positively. Making sure teachers check they are ok, provide any missed work and provide a support group making sure this is available to the children if they need to talk-for example counselors.
Use attendance checks to keep on top of and monitor all attendance for children this will help to discover any patterns in non attendance and help the school find a solution to this quicker therefore benefiting the children. Raising the profile of attendance so if a child fails to attend sending a letter out to parents straight away to make sure they are aware of this or asking for a reason why there was no attendance if the attendance falls below a certain level. Schools can use newsletters and parents evenings to bring this to parents and children’s attention.
Courtney from Study Moose
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