Schools can use home visits and phone calls to help reduce absenteeism



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chulas One can reach out to families through home visits and phone calls to reduce the high absenteeism rate, an education minister has suggested.



Robin Walker said schools need to take a targeted approach – which could include a teacher calling on parents to reach out to persistently absent children or hiring someone to visit homes.

Attendance consultants recruited by education Department (DFE) are set to begin their work with local authorities and multi-academy trusts, which are grappling with persistent absenteeism, next week.



The schools minister said he wants the advisories, which were first announced in August, to disseminate “best practice” from schools and academy trusts that have successfully re-engaged consistently absent pupils in other schools.

We want to work with the education system in terms of getting kids back to school, but also from families, from parents, to caregivers, to recognize that this is the best, safest place for them.



Mr Walker told the PA news agency: “What we really want to do is challenge long hours of unnecessary absenteeism and support schools with improving their attendance across the board.

“So I’m not going to say now that we’re going in and we’re going to fine people.

“What we want to do is create a system of support and it’s about the mental well-being of the students, it’s about the right approach spread across the system about the use of registers, and how to follow up with those kids. who are out of school.”

Mr Walker visited the London Academy on Thursday, one of the schools with above-average attendance rates, to see how it has dealt with absenteeism.

He highlighted that the North London school has taken a “proactive approach” to dealing with frequent absenteeism, adding that the Academy has hired a social worker to “go out of the house and reach out to families” on home visits. appointed through

Speaking from the school, Mr Walker told the PA that it was “kind of good practice” that DFE wants its attendance advisors to spread to other schools, local authorities and multi-academy trusts.

Asked whether more schools should send staff on home visits, Mr Walker said: “I think what they need to look at – and what they have done very effectively here – is when children are constantly If so, there has to be a specific approach to reach the absentee and manage it and be able to employ someone specifically on that task using the resources of having a very large academy.

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