The Government has announced tougher guidelines on truancy, which will take effect from October 2011. Stephen Clarke, Managing Director of Contact Group (www.the-contactgroup.com), comments:
Contact Group welcomes the Department for Education’s new guidelines on truancy to change the definition of “persistent absence” from missing 20 percent of lessons to missing 15 percent.
In order to achieve the Government’s more ambitious targets, it is crucial that schools implement efficient systems to manage and improve their students’ attendance. Fundamentally, if students are truanting, they are not in school learning and will not achieve their full potential.
Parents should be made accountable to ensure their child attends school. Contacting parents immediately whenever a child is absent from school picks up on those who are occasionally absent before they become persistent truants. In order to break this cycle, schools should look more critically at patterns in truancy before students fall into anti-social behaviour and crime. A few days of absence can turn into weeks; catching those early helps to improve overall attendance.
In order to reduce absenteeism it is imperative that parents of truants are contacted on the first day of absence. All schools need a systematic way of notifying parents when their child is absent from school, irrespective of whether a member of staff is off sick.
Truancy Call is the most comprehensive product on the market to address this. The system can make calls and sends text messages on their behalf, so from the school’s point of view, they are alerting parents immediately and catching potentially persistent truants early before it gets serious.
For more information about the Government’s new guidelines on persistent absence, visit:http://bit.ly/ne35qx
For more information about Truancy Call, Contact Group’s award-winning parental communications solution, please visit: http://www.the-contactgroup.com/products/truancy-call.