Drive to improve School
A new drive to tackle School absence in
Liverpool will see businesses asked to help promote good attendance and the
reintroduction of truancy patrols.
The Attendance Strategy will build on the progress that the City has made in
recent years and aims to close the gap with the national average.
It is led by School Improvement Liverpool, which provides support to Schools and
other educational settings to enable them to be the best they can be.
An Attendance Charter; backed by Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce;
will see firms promoting the importance of regular Schooling with their staff to
help ensure tomorrow's workforce reach their full potential.
Truancy Patrols, involving Council staff and Merseyside Police, will also be
reintroduced to find pupils who are skipping School and tackle parents who keep
their children off School without a good reason. And a Quality Mark will be
established to recognise and celebrate Schools that challenge absence robustly
and create a culture of attendance.
Figures for the 2015 to 2016 academic year shows that Primary level attendance in
Liverpool is 95.42%; just short of the national average of 96.1%, while in
Secondary Schools it is 93.92% compared to 95% nationally.
Liverpool recognises it particularly needs to do more to tackle persistent
absence, which is classed as 10% of lessons missed. In Primary Schools 11.33% of
pupils are persistently absent compared to 8.8% nationally, while at Secondary
School level it is 17.15% compared to 12.3% across the rest of the country.
Mayor Joe Anderson said:- "A considerable amount of excellent work to
support children's attendance at School has been done in Liverpool, but as a
City we are still lagging behind other core cities and the national average. As
a parent and grandparent, I want to see every part of our education system
working well for the children, and as Mayor of Liverpool I want to make sure
they are ready to face the best possible life chances in a City that is full of
opportunities. We need to build on existing good practice and introduce new
measures to help tackle the issues facing Liverpool in relation to unacceptably
high absence rates. Promoting positive School attendance is a responsibility
that belongs to everyone, and, in Liverpool, tackling absence will be raised
across all agencies and will become a shared responsibility as it is all of our
Evidence shows that:-
► A child who is 10 minutes late misses 32 hours a year of lost education.
► A child who misses 1 day a week loses 2 months a year of education.
► ? a day a week missed throughout School life equates to 1 full year of lost
Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for education, Cllr Nick Small, said:-
"We have been working hard with our Schools to get the message across to parents
that every lesson counts for their children, but we have to do more. There
are still too many pupils who are missing School needlessly, affecting their
chances of going on to get a good job and have a stable life. We need to tackle
the culture that it is acceptable to take children out of School needlessly,
such as when it is their birthday or for a shopping trip, or fixing a routine
medical appointment for the middle of the day rather than before or after
lessons. Even a small amount of time missed from lessons every week can add up
to a substantial amount over a School year."
Elaine Rees, Chief Executive of Liverpool Learning Partnership - set up by
School and education leaders to ensure the needs of all learners are prioritised
- said:- "I am delighted to endorse this City wide approach to improving
School attendance. In Liverpool Learning Partnership we are committed to working
with partners to tackle this issue. We need to support all that Schools
are doing to champion attendance and add our collective energies to seeing even
The strategy is being launched at a business event organised by Liverpool and
Sefton Chambers of Commerce, at the Art School Restaurant, on Wednesday, 22 March