Our school is supporting the BITUP Attendance project which is an innovative new approach to improving school attendance. The COVID pandemic has seen school absence rocket and, though our school remains significantly above the national averages, we are very conscious that we want more children in school more of the time.

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT – a social purpose company) is delivering this programme with our school in partnership with The Education Endowment Foundation (charity) and Youth Endowment Fund (charity). The scheme looks at a range of aspects, including monitoring and home communication.

Richard Barnett-Richards, Assistant Headteacher, said: “All parents have been communicated with on this scheme and there is no doubt that it could have a fantastic impact. A similar scheme in the US saw chronic absence reduce by 10%. Of course, there will be times when a child is too ill to attend, but the key driver on school attendance is the message in the home.”

Matt Allman, Headteacher, added: “The most recent Summer exams show a marked difference in exam results for children who attended regularly and those who attended less. Those students with over 95.9% attendance on average scored 1½ grades better per subject than those students with attendance rates below 90%. You cannot learn in your lessons if you are not there to hear them. There can be many reasons for absence, many will be valid, but there are consequences for absence too, and we want to help children and families avoid them. This is why we get involved in the latest approaches to try and make the difference.”

You can read more about the scheme here.