The Government urgently needs to get to grip with the unfolding crisis of school absence

The Government urgently needs to get to grip with the unfolding crisis of school absence

8th January 2024

MEDIA STATEMENT FROM THE CENTRE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

Commenting on the Secretary of State for Education’s statement today on the Government’s plans to reduce absence from schools, Jessica Prestidge, Deputy Policy Director of the Centre for Social Justice said:

Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction, but Government action continues to fall short.

The Education Secretary has said that tackling school absence is her number one priority, but the expanded pilot will reach just 3 per cent of severely absent children at most in

With severe absence back at record highs, and one in five children persistently absent, much more is needed. The Government must rebuild the fractured relationship between parents and schools, starting with a National Parental Participation Strategy. Attendance mentors must be rolled out nationwide as a matter of urgency. And Department for Education guidance on attendance should be made statutory.

Our latest polling by YouGov suggests nearly one in five parents are worried about their child’s attendance and want more support from school, rising to nearly a quarter of parents on low incomes.

And only a quarter of parents said their child’s school communicates with them very well, compared with nearly 40 per cent who say communication is not good enough.

The consequences of so many children missing so much school will only result in unfulfilled lives, fractured communities, and spiralling costs to the taxpayer for picking up the pieces. The Government urgently needs to get to grip with the unfolding crisis of school absence.

 

 

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