Hastings unites to tackle school attendance

Jun 24, 2021

A town-wide campaign to support regular school attendance during the last few weeks of term, and in preparation for the new school year, has been launched this week by Hastings Opportunity Area.

Hastings Academy Principal Hilary Morawska pictured with pupils from the academy.

All schools and Trusts in Hastings have already signed up to an Attendance Charter that sets out a shared set of principles and practices that all schools will implement to ensure a consistent approach to attendance.

A number of organisations across the town have signed up to the accompanying multi-agency attendance charter, making a commitment to work together with schools to support children and young people attend school, particularly where families may be experiencing barriers to regular school attendance.

An advertising campaign to support the initiative will be appearing in key sites across the town, featuring the slogan ‘Every school day counts – now more than ever’. It will involve posters and supporting materials being displayed across the town that set out positive messages about school attendance and the importance of asking for help, if families are struggling.

Sally-Ann Hart, MP for Hastings and Rye, has expressed her support for the schools and Trusts who are uniting to improve school attendance :

“Many of our children have experienced a loss of learning this academic year, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. For these children, ‘Every school day counts, now more than ever’ is particularly important. It is vital that children who have missed out on face to face teaching, alongside important opportunities to socialise with their friends and to engage in wider school life, are able now to attend school regularly so that they can engage in school fully and all that it has to offer’.

Hilary Morawska, Principal at The Hastings Academy Secondary school, said:

“Attendance in school every day is critical to learning success and for our pupils to realise their potential. Hastings Academy are proud to once again sign the Attendance Charter and continue working with the Hastings Opportunity Area to address the challenges being faced by some pupils and their families , as they return to school after the most recent lockdown”.

The HOA are now asking for the support of local statutory services, community groups and voluntary organisations to unite by signing their multi-agency support for school attendance Charter.

Richard Meddings, Chair of HOA’s Board, said: “The understanding that promoting positive school attendance is a responsibility that belongs to everyone, is central to this work. If we are to achieve the aspiration of a continuous improvement in overall attendance rates and a significant reduction in persistent absenteeism, we must work together. I am reaching out to our town’s multi-agency leaders, including those in the voluntary sector, to ask them to sign up to our Charter so we can unite to support families and our local schools”.

If you are from a local organisation and would like to sign up to our attendance charter, please email laura.beerling@eastsussex.gov.uk.

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