Increased government focus on children with a social worker: how do you monitor CiN & CP attendance?
On the 6th May 2022, the DfE published a guidance document named Working together to improve school attendance. The guidance is intended to help schools, academy trusts, governing bodies, and local authorities maintain high levels of school attendance. It is designed to:
- help schools, trusts, governing bodies and local authorities maintain high levels of school attendance
- summarise the roles and responsibilities of parents, schools, trusts, governing bodies and local authorities
- summarise the support that should be provided to families, including for pupils who are persistently or severely absent or at risk of becoming so
- provide details of attendance legal interventions available to schools and local authorities where support does not work, is not engaged with or is not appropriate
- provide details of what schools are required to record in the attendance and admission registers
Although this is non-statutory guidance for the academic year 2022/23, is stated that the guidance will be going through Parliament in order to become statutory from September 2023 onwards. It also further reiterates the need for and importance of monitoring all children with a social worker with the following statements being made:
- It is therefore important that we redouble efforts to improve attendance for this group and build on the progress made by Virtual School Heads since the expansion of the programme to provide strategic oversight of the education of pupils with a social worker. As such, local authorities are expected to make use of their Virtual Schools to:
- Regularly monitor the attendance of children with a social worker in their area, including those looked-after by the local authority.
- Set aspirational targets for attendance of pupils with a social worker in the area
- Provide training for designated teachers about their role in promoting the attendance of children who have ever needed a social worker
The guidance goes further in stating that:
- In all cases, schools and local authorities are expected to make patterns of both persistent and severe absence a focus of their regular data monitoring and identify pupils and cohorts who need targeted attendance support as quickly as possible. Both persistent and severe absence should also be central to school, trust, and local authority level strategies for improving attendance.
We support authorities and Virtual School Heads in monitoring CiN and CP children. If any authority would like further information please contact us directly at [email protected]