Every school day matters

Posted on Tuesday 23rd August 2022

Every Day Matters

Every day matters – that’s the message from Blackpool Council as a campaign is launched to drive up attendance rates at all schools in Blackpool.

The campaign highlights the importance of regular school attendance for all pupils in Blackpool and offers support to families to help them overcome barriers that prevent good attendance. 

Families should aim for 100% attendance at school. Being in school on time and ready to learn means that children can make friends, develop new skills and build their confidence.

For some, 90% may seem like an acceptable level of attendance but the reality is that this means a child will miss half a school day each week. That’s the equivalent of 19 days during the school year.

The campaign also reminds parents and carers that there are 190 days during a school year, leaving 175 days to take holidays.

Where possible, medical appointments should be arranged before or after school hours. In some cases where this isn’t possible, parents are encouraged to get their child to school before and after the appointment to reduce missed learning time.

Poor attendance could result in legal proceedings so working together with families, schools and the council is essential to improve attendance rates.

Other legal processes such as penalty notices can be used in response to non-attendance, resulting in a fine. Missing school for holidays is one example of when they may be used.

Whilst parents and carers are legally responsible for ensuring their child goes to school every day, support is available.

If a family has concerns about their child’s attendance, they should contact the school and ask for help. There may be a reason why a child doesn’t want to go to school.

Some schools have staff who work to support attendance or alternatively, schools may ask for help from the council’s pupil welfare service.

Pupil welfare officers will support young people and families to help them overcome barriers that prevent good attendance. 

Elaine Allen, Executive Headteacher at St John Vianney Catholic Primary School, said: “Parents need to know that every day matters and for every day absent, not only does the child miss out on the knowledge and learning taking place that day, but future learning and knowledge could be hampered.

“Also, some may think 90% attendance is high but that means 19 days have been missed or the equivalent of half a day every single week.”

Cllr Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Inclusion, Youth, Schools and Transience, said:

“During the pandemic, children missed a lot of school and now we want to make sure that we are doing everything possible to ensure they can attend.

“The campaign highlights the fact that there’s simply no excuse for your child to miss school without a valid reason.

“We understand that children can feel anxious about school for many reasons. Let’s tackle the issue together and support them to attend school every day.

“You can either contact your child’s school and ask for help or get in touch with our pupil welfare team who work with families in Blackpool to support them when attendance issues arise.”

Contact the pupil welfare service on 01253 476478 or email pupilwelfareservice@blackpool.gov.uk

For more information, visit www.blackpool.gov.uk/EveryDayMatters

Posted on Tuesday 23rd August 2022

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