Whilst there will always be a percentage of absent pupils due to sickness and mental health issues (we all know how quickly a cold will spread around a classroom, don’t we?), there are a growing number of schools dealing with issues around persistent absenteeism.
Persistent absenteeism is defined as “a student that misses 10% or more of their possible sessions.”
The percentage of persistent absentees (10% or more missed) for 2020/21 was 12.1%, up from 10.8% in 2018/19
At TASC, we help schools understand the data around absences so that they can diagnose why they might be happening and plan how they can move forward.
We believe that when you discover the root cause of why your pupils are not showing up to classes, you can work holistically to help them get back in the classroom.
Common reasons for school truancy:
Bullying: If a child doesn’t feel safe around their classmates, or if they have been dealing with difficult situations during break times, then they may not want to attend their classes at all and feel like there’s no escape, unless they don’t show up at all.
Difficulties at home: If a child has been dealing with difficulties at home, they may feel like they have not had enough rest, care and support to be able to get through the school day. Talk to the pupil and listen to what they have to say. If a safeguarding issue comes to light, notify your safeguarding lead and record all the information they give you so that you can help Peer pressure from fellow pupils: It can be hard not to follow the lead of other classmates and feel like they have to copy others. If this appears to be the case, try to ascertain who is leading the charge here and understand their reasons for doing so. Is it a need for attention and the desire to fit in, or is something else going on?
Disengaged because of the teacher: Often, pupils may find that they clash with a particular subject teacher and their learning style. If this appears to be the case, open up a conversation to uncover why they feel this way about their teacher and work on ways to change their perceptions so that they feel motivated.
How does Talaxy work with reporting school absences?
Typically most school-based systems look at pupil’s overall attendance, and generally believe that the higher the attendance, the higher the attainment. The government’s aim for this is 95% or higher. Talaxy, our school data software, breaks this attendance down by subject, meaning you get a more detailed report that can help you to understand the problem on a deeper level.
For example, if a student’s attendance is 95% over all, they could still be off-target in one particular subject. By looking at the attendance of each subject specifically, you can pinpoint the cause for absences and explore why that might be happening.
One of our clients, a sixth form college, has been using Talaxy to help them get a better picture of one particular student. Their attendance was good, sitting at around 95%, and generally they were on target with their A-levels overall, except for one subject; they were below expectations in A-level Computer Science.
By breaking down the student’s attendance data on an easy-to-create report with Talaxy, they were able to look at the student’s attendance by subject. It became immediately clear that the student regularly missed Computer Science lessons, and their attendance was below 95%. This was one of the contributing factors for the student to be off target.
The school was then able to look at the reasons why this might be, and help to re-engage the student so that they became excited about the subject, rather than dreading it because they had disengaged. Talaxy allows teachers and school administrators to instantly access figures for any student, at any time on any device.
Parents also have access to this information if they need it, so they can be proactive with the student and work together to help support them to get back on track.
What can I do to help stop persistent truancy in my school?
If your school is looking to save time, streamline processes and allow access and autonomy around important data that doesn’t require an SLT (Senior Leadership Team) or DM (Data Manager) to grant permissions, then book in a free product demo with one of our team.
Get in touch…
If you’re interested how TASC can help you and your team, or for a live demonstration of our software packages – please call, email or complete the ‘Request a Call Back’ form here…
TASC Software take your privacy seriously and we only use your details in relation to this request.