Blackpool council launches new ‘Every Day Matters’ campaign to boost school attendance

Countryside, “Every day counts”emphasizes the importance of regular school attendance for all students in Blackpool and offers support to families to help them overcome barriers that prevent good school attendance.

The council says families should aim for 100 per cent school attendance because being in school on time and ready to learn means children can make friends, develop new skills and build confidence.

They add that while 90% may seem like an acceptable level of attendance, it actually means that a child will miss half a day of school each week, which equates to 19 days during the school year.

Blackpool Council wants to get the message across that ‘every day matters’ to pupils and their parents.

Elaine Allen, Executive Director of St John Vianney Catholic Primary School, said: ‘Parents need to know that every day counts and for every day away, not only does the child miss out on the knowledge and learning that takes place that day, but future learning and knowledge might be hindered.

The campaign also reminds parents and guardians that there are 190 days in a school year, leaving 175 days to take holidays.

The advice says that where possible medical appointments should be arranged before or after school hours, and where this is not possible parents are encouraged to bring their child to the school before and after the appointment to reduce missed learning time.

They say poor attendance could result in legal action, so working with families, schools and the council to improve attendance rates is essential.

Other legal processes such as penalty notices may be used in response to an absence, resulting in a fine; for example if a student misses school for a holiday.

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Blackpool Council adds that while parents and guardians are legally responsible for ensuring their child attends school every day, support is available.

If a family has concerns about their child’s attendance, they should contact the school and ask for help, especially since there may be a reason why a child does not want to attend. school.

Some schools have staff who work to support attendance or alternatively schools can request assistance from the board’s Student Welfare Department.

Student social workers will accompany young people and families to help them overcome obstacles that prevent good attendance.

Cllr Gillian Campbell, Cabinet Member of the Blackpool Council for Inclusion, Youth, Schools and Transition, said: ‘During the pandemic children have missed a lot of school and now we want to make sure we do everything we can to ensure that they can attend.

“The campaign highlights the fact that there is simply no excuse for your child to miss school without a good reason.

“We understand that children can feel anxious about school for many reasons. Let’s tackle the problem together and help them go to school every day.

“You can either contact your child’s school and ask for help, or contact our Student Protection Team who work with families in Blackpool to help them with attendance issues.”

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