Attendance & Punctuality Summary Review: 2021/2022 Success With Caution
ATTENDANCE 21/22: CONTINUED SUCCESS STORY BUT WITH A WORD OF CAUTION
As we have seen in all areas over the last three years, school has greatly improved its attendance and punctuality for all children since our new Mayfield came together - in relation to all national comparisons. Superb! Punctual arrival each day is now a major success and, with a few exceptions, this is consistently strong now. Brilliant! Our Free School Meals children’s 'gap in attendance' compared to all other children is reducing. Fabulous! (The current funding system for schools is set out so that aspects of this funding can aid this group - so good attendance is vital otherwise the money and effort may well be wasted.) This is great news and credit to all those staff and families who have made the difference. However, this is not really about meeting measures and making comparisons at its heart, it is about lost learning if children’s attendance becomes a concern or worse than that 'Persistent Absence' which then has a major impact on the ability of any child to build their learning and seriously threatens their long term prospects. So this is always much bigger than mere numbers to look at and each family’s role in school attendance is vital. This is where I am pleased with the many successes we have seen and lots of personal improvements during the last three years and I want to celebrate and show that below. GOLD BOXES SHOW STRONG PERFORMANCE. PURPLE SHOWS CONCERN. RED WAS A REAL WORRY.
...BUT and this is a MAJOR WORRY, we are seeing nationally, across all schools (including our own) a reduction in attendance overall and generally a return to less importance placed upon attending school in the last twelve months. It feels that nationally there was an initial recognition of attending school after each lockdown period and this was so important to every family and people could see the significance of attending but now this has reduced as people begin to forget what partial school closures did. School staff across the country are working constantly to find ways to build learning quickly as a recovery from the lockdowns, the government is naturally applying pressure saying that everyone needs to make up for lost time and that all families want this but we are not seeing that recovery language reflected in the approach of some families to school attendance and if anything the attendance trends for Autumn Term 2022 nationally are getting worse. Our own figure of Persistent Absence is much, much better overall which is pleasing, but always remains a concern as some of these children have Persistent Absence over several years.
Now, we are proud of our progress and will rightly celebrate everyone’s hard work but national lockdowns brought many an awakening upon the importance of school life but this is beginning to be lost and the fight to make up for lost time will not happen for some children as a result.