Behaviour and attendance: Using Attendance Panels to fast track to prosecution

Outcomes and future plans

  • Date: Nov 2005
  • Programme: Behaviour and attendance
  • Focus: To use attendance panels to fast track to prosecution, raise the profile of attendance with parents and provide the school with a focused approach to poor attendance
  • Number in series: 18
  • School name: Filsham Valley School
  • Phase: Secondary
  • Key stage: Key Stages 3
  • Local authority: East Sussex
  • Free school meals (FSM): 27%
  • Raised awareness of the importance of regular and punctual school attendance with both parents and pupils
  • Assemblies used to explain to pupils the link between attendance and attainment
  • Attendance panels used to highlight to parents their legal responsibility for ensuring their child’s regular attendance at school
  • Increase in the number of prosecution which eliminated the local myth that "nothing will happen, no-one ever gets taken to Court"
  • Reduction of the number of first day contact calls from 60 to 10 per day which had a significant impact on call costs and placed the responsibility for reporting a child's absence back to the parents
  • EWS took responsibility for contacting parents, who persistently did not telephone the school, to inform them that absence in future would be automatically unauthorised and they would be open to prosecution
  • Improved attendance from 87% to 90%
  • Consistent approach across the school in responding to issues of non-attendance
  • School/EWO able to identify and address deteriorating attendance more quickly through the attendance panel process.

Future plans

  • EWO and school continue to hold regular attendance panels to ensure the maintenance of improved attendance
  • This model is now used across the whole LA
  • Attendance in the next school year to be 91.5%.
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