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Push to improve school attendance launched

Sunday, 11 September 2022 16:08

By Chris Young, Local Democracy Reporter

A new campaign to improve attendance rates in local schools has begun – timed to coincide with the start of the new school year.

The Bradford Council campaign, called ‘Every Day at School,’ promotes the importance of regular school attendance for pupils.

It will use posters and digital advertising vehicles to encourage parents and carers to get their children to school every day.

Although it is being ramped up to coincide with the return to school for the new academic year, the campaign will run all year, including on social media.

Councillor Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s executive member for education, employment and skills, said: “We want all pupils across Bradford district to do well, and going to school every day is really important if they are to achieve.

“Our goal with this campaign is to remind parents that every day in school has a positive impact on their child’s future.

“All parents want their children to succeed, but sometimes they think that missing the odd day here and there doesn’t matter.

“Every missed day of school can harm a child’s chances of achieving success. So, we want to encourage parents to make sure their children are in school every day that they are well so that they can reach their full potential.

“The majority of parents do ensure their children attend school regularly, but our attendance rates in Bradford district are lower than we would like and we are keen to drive them up and improve our young people’s life chances.”

At a meeting of Bradford Council’s Corporate Scrutiny Committee earlier this Summer Marium Haque, Strategic Director of Children’s Service spoke to members about what the Council was doing to reduce persistent absences.

Ms Haque said the Council’s persistent absence team “was set up to deal with young people really, really struggling with absences and with incredibly low levels of school attendance.”

She said in the final term of the last academic year the team worked with over 160 young people. Around 80 per cent of these saw their attendance levels improve.

Members heard that persistent absence was when attendance was less than 95 per cent. Ms Haque said the team may not necessarily get the young people they work with to this level. But she added: “If a young person doesn’t go to school at all, then getting them to school three or four days a week is good. To me that is a win.”

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