School Attendance and SEND

Despite progress in recent years, both primary and secondary phases in Islington currently perform poorly in terms of school attendance in comparison with statistical neighbours.

Children with SEND have higher patterns of non‐attendance; our aim is at least 96% attendance for all children. In 2016‐17, Islington’s overall school attendance figure was 95.8%; for our children with SEND in mainstream (all phases), the figure was 93.2%, which is below average for Inner London, London, England and our statistical neighbours.

Attendance strategies for children with SEND should have the same focus, challenge and expectations as for all children. There are three key areas that all schools should be addressing:

Data: Does the school have accurate self-knowledge?
Systems: What is the school doing well to promote attendance, and what can it do better?
Whole-school approach: Attendance needs to be a constant feature of all aspects of school life.

For childen with SEND
  • Children with SEND are more likely to require multi‐agency services to address their full range of needs. These services should not be delivered as an alternative to the school curriculum, and should not impact on school attendance
  • All the agencies involved with the family of a child with SEND must ensure that parents understand the importance of regular school attendance and have the capacity to put this into practice, and that low levels of attendance can indicate difficult home circumstances and/or concerns about a safeguarding
  • Poor or deteriorating attendance can indicate that a child is becoming disaffected from an environment where they feel they cannot succeed, and that this is reinforced on a daily basis. Different interventions or more appropriate curricular provision might re‐engage the child, improving both attendance and progress.

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