Attendance campaign communications toolkit for schools (windows.net) We encourage schools to use this resource and support the campaign throughout Spring term.
The toolkit contains ways you can support the campaign and valuable resources which can be used to help create a national warm welcome to school for children, young people and families over the Spring term. The campaign will feature media partnerships, radio advertising and social media influencers to promote the importance of school attendance and the value of a school day.
The campaign reflects feedback from schools and local authorities. It aims to primarily reach those parents whose children are taking preventable odd days of absence – or “avoidable absence” – rather than those who face greater barriers to attendance, such as pupils with long term medical conditions or special educational needs and disabilities.
The campaign forms one part of the DfE’s wider strategy to increase attendance, which also includes clearer expectations for schools and local authorities built around a ‘support first’ approach.
While the importance of learning and the legal obligation to attend are core reasons for children to be in school, it's helpful to remind parents of the wider holistic benefits for children’s wellbeing and happiness - such as the development of friendships and fantastic extra-curricular opportunities.
1. Help create a national warm welcome to school for families throughout the spring by sharing the attendance campaign resources on your social media channels, newsletters and website. You can tailor these to your school.
2. Make the Spring term a fresh start for children and young people struggling to attend school by taking a “support first” approach and sustaining efforts to engage families where absence is severe or persistent. We have produced range of webinars and case studies with tips and best practice to address attendance barriers.
3. Refer to the communicating with families to support attendance toolkit when communicating with families about attendance, to maximise your impact. The campaign we will also encourage parents and carers struggling with their child’s attendance to reach out to their school as the first step of support.
4. Set clear expectations for parents and carers about what they need to do to support good attendance (e.g., phoning when their child is ill and having a back-up plan if their child misses school transport). And what you will do for them in return (e.g., phoning parents and carers to discuss a child’s attendance
where there are challenges and getting them into school for a meeting if there are concerns).
5. Remind parents and carers of the NHS Is my child too ill for school guidance and the Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty’s letter on mild illness and school attendance that says a prolonged period of absence is likely to heighten a child’s anxiety about attending school in the future.
6. Help reduce the spread of infection in your school - remind staff and pupils of the importance of regular and effective handwashing and ensure spaces are well-ventilated. You can use your CO2 monitors to manage good ventilation. Tell parents and carers about the steps you are taking to reduce infection spread to offer reassurance.
7. Sign up to share your daily attendance data with DfE if your school has not already done so and use the data to identify and respond to trends early.
Other useful documents;