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Student attendance has recently been a prevalent issue in the education sector. Many factors have contributed to absenteeism, but both students and parents are questioning the authenticity of mandatory attendance in the school building.

“Parents in England no longer subscribe to the view that their children need to be in school full-time, according to new research which says there has been “a seismic shift” in attitudes to attendance since the pandemic.”

As adults, returning from the pandemic, there are many instances now where working from home or hybrid models have been incorporated. There have been suggestions this can lead to improved well-being and productivity in some cases. This poses the question as to what we expect of children and their mandatory attendance in the school building. What other methods could be deployed?

Under current recommendations, schools are expected to provide a school week of 32.5 hours for children. However, what about the children who refuse to attend school or cannot due to physical or mental health barriers?

Strategies you can implement to support attendance

Expecting all children to physically attend school is now inconceivable, especially since the impact of the pandemic. Here are a few alternative methods you can look at implementing to support children:

Virtual schooling – Some students do not want to physically attend a school because their parents work from home or they refuse because of factors such as emotional-based school avoidance or other mental health challenges.

A virtual school, or online alternative provision, can be highly beneficial for students who refuse to attend. The flexibility it can offer can ensure children gain the fundamental skills they need to succeed in adult life and at the same time schools can still benefit from claiming attendance marks in some instances.

Part-time timetables – Students who have a medical condition that prevents them from attending education full-time could use part-time timetables to their advantage. Part-time timetables should never be used in permanency, but they can offer students an opportunity to build their confidence and gradually reintegrate when possible. These can also be intertwined with online schooling to ensure education is being obtained in a setting students are comfortable with.

Driving effective communication – Creating an effective line of communication between school and parents can help overcome barriers to learning. By reconnecting and re-engaging with parents you can construct a strategic plan that can ensure their child is receiving the best outcomes and experiences as possible.

“82% of parents say that ensuring children grow up to be ‘well-rounded’ individuals should be a school’s main priority or one of their most important priorities.”

Consider using an online alternative provision to overcome certain attendance challenges and break through barriers that are preventing students from physically attending a mainstream school building. Make sure to access EDClass’s latest white paper on ‘implementing supportive reintegration strategies to transform attendance challenges’.

If you would like to learn about EDClass and how it could assist with any attendance challenges you might be currently facing call 01909 568338, email or enquire for more information here

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