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Importance of school attendance stressed as new term starts

30 August 2023

The importance of regular school attendance is being emphasised as parents and children prepare for the start of the new school year.

Attendance in the first week of term is seen as an accurate indicator of a child’s attendance throughout the rest of the year.

A report from the Children's Commissioner showed that children who miss one of the first few days of the new term for unauthorised reasons are much more likely to miss long periods of their schooling than their peers who attended those first few days.

Education officers at Cambridgeshire County Council have said that the start of the new academic year is a good time for a reset when it comes to school attendance.

Parents with concerns are also being urged to speak to their child’s school as early as possible, as part of the process to tackle the problem of under-attendance together.

Cllr Bryony Goodliffe, Chair of the Council’s Children and Young People’s Committee said: “We know that schools, trusts, local authorities and support services are preparing now to welcome pupils back and we are all focused on securing good attendance for all pupils at this critical time.

“This might involve support in the shape of new school visits, setting clear expectations for the new academic year and providing targeted support to those most in need.

“It is essential that we all work together – schools, academy trusts, local authorities and support services – to identify children and groups who need help with attendance (including pupils transitioning to the setting and pupils with SEND) and speak with children and parents to ensure the necessary support is in place for the start of term,” she added.