HOA launches Hastings Attendance Pledge 2022 in partnership with local leaders and community organisations

Mar 25, 2022

Hastings Opportunity Area has brought together local leaders and community organisations to promote the importance of school attendance with the launch of the Hastings Attendance Pledge 2022.

The Hastings Attendance Pledge is a collaborative approach to promote positive attendance and the benefits of attending school regularly across the Hastings community. Organisations signing the pledge commit to:

  • actively supporting and promoting Hastings wide programmes that encourage school attendance; and
  • supporting schools, organisations and the wider community to improve school attendance.

All schools in Hastings signed up to the attendance charter, and we are now asking for more of the community and organisations to show their support by signing the pledge.

Prior to the outbreak of Covid 19, attendance across Hastings schools had improved dramatically. However, recently the number of children and young people who are missing school regularly has increased significantly across the town. Many children and young people are struggling to return to school after the period of disruption brought about by the pandemic, particularly pupils with Special Educational Needs.

Organisations across the town, who have signed up to the pledge have also set out what they will do to support positive attendance.

Sally-Ann Hart, MP for Hastings and Rye said:

“Regular attendance at school is an integral part of giving children the best possible start in life and that is why I am so pleased to be adding my name to this local Attendance Pledge in Hastings.”

“It is no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic has been tough on everybody, but this is especially the case for children and young people who have shown remarkable fortitude throughout despite the impact it is has had on their education.”

“With all restrictions having recently been lifted, children and young people now have the best opportunity to get back into schools and colleges to catch-up and excel, and they, their families and school staff all have my wholehearted support in making this happen.”

Lead Member Education and ISEND, Councillor Bob Standley said:

“Attending school is vitally important for children in Hastings, and indeed across the county, to be able to learn the skills that they will need to get good well-paid jobs when they leave school. To attract employers to Hastings they need to be confident that the skills they require are available locally.”

“I fully support the campaign to not only get attendance levels back to pre-Covid (Covid-19) levels but to exceed those earlier figures. ”

The mayor of Hastings, Cllr James Bacon, said:

“ I strongly support this initiative. I work in a local school myself and know just how important good attendance is. As well as improving students’ education, being with their friends and having the opportunity to join school clubs and play sports helps their mental health. Please do all you can to encourage your children to attend school every day. ”

Jessica Britton, Executive Managing Director of NHS East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“ We are pleased to support this excellent initiative. Education is one of the wider social determinants of health so any support we can give to young people and their families to improve attendance and help them enjoy their time in education is extremely important and will provide further benefits in terms of physical and mental health and wellbeing. ”

Neighbourhood Policing Team, Hastings Police said:

“ The Neighbourhood Policing Team, Hastings Police Station are very pleased to be invited to join the Hastings attendance alliance and to make a contribution to the important matter of improving school attendance together. It is essential that we work together to ensure all of our children are back at school. It’s so important, after so much disruption as a result of Covid, to make sure every child who can attend school, is able to do so.  We pledge to provide a visible police presence in schools – helping to disseminate messages about the importance of school attendance and highlighting the importance of attending school regularly when visiting a number of our local schools. ”

“ We will provide a visible police presence in schools- helping to disseminate messages about the importance of school attendance and highlighting the importance of attending school regularly when visiting a number of our local schools. We will look to share the positive attendance campaign materials across any local social media that permits. ”

Director Steve Manwaring, Hastings Voluntary Action (HVA) said:

“Hastings Voluntary Action is pleased to be part of the attendance pledge and recognised just how vital every bit of learning is for our children and young people. We are proud to be supporting this initiative and will be encouraging our network of over 250 local organisations to play an active role in this campaign and spread the word among their volunteer’s staff and service users.”

Optivo Fresh Visions said:

“Optivo and Fresh Visions Charity are supporting the Attendance pledge because we believe children and young people thrive from attending school regularly. They gain the opportunity to develop healthy lifestyle choices, build strong relationships and increase their potential for future employment.”

Chief Executive Carole Dixon, Education Futures Trust said:

“Education Futures Trust staff will actively promote attendance with caseload and groups to ensure that the children understand the value of education. Education Futures Trust will support the attendance pledge as we believe that education provides children and young people with the knowledge and skills to achieve their ambitions.”

Chief Executive Tracey Rose, Fellowship of St Nicholas (FSN) said:

“FSN believes that school attendance supports not only children’s current educational attainment but also impacts significantly on their opportunities for their future. FSN will support schools in the town to ensure all children are attending school and parents/carers have a good understanding of why their children should attend school.”

“ FSN will ensure that families we engage with are made aware of the importance of attendance and support parents/carers to access the appropriate support needed to ensure children are attending school. ”

Director Professor Ali Bayley, Gracie Barra said:

“Attendance at school is essential for social, creative and academic development. We teach a large number of young people from schools across Hastings both in school time and as an extracurricular activity and our sport helps children to develop confidence, resilience and self esteem which additionally  supports their learning in school.”

Mark Barkaway, Albion in the Community said:

“Albion in the Community is supporting the Attendance pledge because we believe the best way for children and young people to learn, develop and thrive is by attending school regularly – enabling them to learn good habits and build strong friendships.”

“We will work with young people in the community at our Premier League Kicks sessions to promote and champion regular attendance at school.”

Chamber Director Sean Dennis Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce said:

“Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce is supporting the Attendance pledge because we believe that children and young people gain so many benefits from attending school regularly; enabling them to reach their full potential, develop good friendships, healthy life habits and the solid foundations for reliable, trustworthy, conscientious staff employers are looking to employ.”

Other organisations, are today, being asked to sign up to the pledge, so that they too can support this important initiative.

To join the pledge, visit hastingsopportunityarea.co.uk/attendancepledge

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