Are you September ready?
Are you September ready?
Keeping in touch over summer…
With the end of term almost upon us, thoughts are turning to the summer holidays and a well-earned break. However for many young people this can be a most worrying time when the safety and reassurance of coming to school seems a long way off.
Ensure that your pupils know where to turn to if they fall into crisis over the summer and how they can do this. For example, having a named contact who is available as well as providing information about Childline (free phone line: 0800 1111)
Targeted support over summer including checking in with pupils and families is good practice and a welcome support for some. If possible, try to do a home visit to bridge the gap between school and home for the pupils that you feel would benefit from touching base during the break.
Summer contact will also help parents to keep school abreast of developments in a family situation, particularly for vulnerable families.
Liaise with other agencies and professionals involved with your vulnerable pupils to ensure they link in and support the family during the summer period.
For students starting at a new school or moving to secondary they may need reassurance before starting back. Help with uniform, routines, bus roots can all help to make that first day a positive experience.
Are you September Ready?
The start of the new academic year can prove to be manic, busy for school staff but also essential for establishing a strong plan for school attendance. The planning you do now will ensure you reap the rewards in the new school year and put you on the right track for a successful year of learning and achieving.
Below are a few tips that we think may be helpful in getting ahead:
Prior to breaking up for the summer...
Families extending summer holidays can send pupils into the persistent absence threshold in the first few days of the new school year. Take every opportunity to publicise term dates in your school newsletters, websites and on social media. Send out texts and emails ahead of the new academic year to remind parents. (This is probably a good time to ensure that parents are reminded that it is their responsibility to provide you with their up-to-date contact details).
As well as wishing everybody an enjoyable summer, prior to breaking up remind parents of the potential legal consequences if they do take any unauthorised absence.
Have you updated your policies and website ready for the new academic year?
When school starts back...
Endeavour to make sure that the social and fun aspects of school begin straight away and the environment is as welcoming and inviting as possible. During term time a pupil will spend nearly as many waking hours each day in school as at home. Is your setting an environment where they feel safe, engaged, wanted, creative and appreciated?
Consider holding trials and auditions for teams and clubs in the first week back to ensure that the pupils will want to be in from the very start.
Keep accurate records from day one! No one wants attendance matters to escalate to prosecution level but if they do, ensure your school has not only done all it can to support improvement as part of your escalation of intervention, but that all actions are recorded appropriately for future reference.