School attendance in Blackpool on the rise

Posted on Friday 18th December 2020

Back to school

School attendance rates in Blackpool are on the rise with 77% of pupils in school last week compared to 75% the previous week.

Overall attendance has increased every week for the past four weeks too from 73% to 77%, meaning that schools in Blackpool are closing the gap on the average national attendance figure which is 85%.

Attendance in early years settings has also increased with the latest data showing that 2041 children were in attendance in comparison to 1232 at the beginning of November, an increase of 66%.

Local schools have seen a significant decrease in the number of children being absent for COVID-related reasons with the lowest recorded figures since mid-October.

As of last Friday, only 799 children were recorded as having a COVID-related absence in comparison to 1895 on 20 November, a decrease in 58%.

Following the Christmas holidays, all secondary schools in England are being asked to stagger the return of pupils, with online learning replacing classroom lessons.

Secondary schools in Blackpool will stagger the return of all pupils from 4-8 January and provide remote learning for all year groups except year 11 and 13.

Pupils taking exams such as GCSEs and A-levels are expected to return as soon as term starts on 4 or 5 January. Children of keyworkers and vulnerable children should also attend secondary school from the start of term.

Primary school pupils will go back to school as normal in January. 

The government has advised that all secondary schools and colleges in England will be able to test more of their staff and pupils in a round of free coronavirus testing from the first week of January.

The round of testing will help to reassure students, parents and teachers about returning to school and college.

Primary and secondary schools in Blackpool reopened to all pupils at the start of the new academic year in September.

Most of Blackpool’s schools remained open throughout the pandemic, providing a well-managed service to support critical key workers and vulnerable children.

Working closely with schools, Public Health and the Department for Education, Blackpool Council has been helping to ensure all of the necessary measures are in place to provide a safe and secure environment for all children, teachers and support staff. 

Through its “Back To School Safely” campaign, the council continues to remind parents and carers of the vital importance of children being in school for their education and wellbeing.

Cllr Kath Benson, Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Schools, Education and Aspiration, said:

“It’s fantastic to see that schools are showing better or similar attendance rates to last year.

“It’s a real testament to all our schools and early years settings for their ongoing hard work and commitment to make sure a day at school is as safe as can be for everyone. We appreciate your continued support and dedication to our young people.

“We’d also like to thank all parents and carers for your support with settling pupils back into school and making sure that children continue to attend.

“A big thank you also goes to all the children and young people – we know that things have been a little different in the classroom since September so thank you for being so understanding and positive about the changes.

“It is vital that the children and young people who are expected to return to school at the start of the next term do so to ensure that they get a good education to help them in their future lives, for their wellbeing, and for their wider development.”

Posted on Friday 18th December 2020

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