Improving attendance is a key cross cutting priority for Hastings. Attendance at primary
schools in Hastings is the lowest of all 324 local authority districts in England and attendance at secondary school is below national average. Some schools have very high levels of persistent absence – pupils missing more than 10 per cent of school.

Reasons for poor attendance are varied and sometimes complex which is why we are taking a multi-faceted approach to support schools to build on the existing work they are already doing:

The aim is that all schools in Hastings will have a shared approach and common
expectations on Attendance. This includes a common approach across all schools to
lateness, taking term time holidays and when action will be taken for those families whose children are persistently absent from school.

Launched in June 2019, we brought all schools together in November 2019 to review its
impact, although COVID-19 affected the impact of this project.

We have funded £500k for projects in schools to improve attendance. These

  • Key workers in a number of schools to support families who struggle to get their
    children to school;
  • Additional Education Welfare Officers, working across 7 primary schools and 2
    secondary schools to train teachers and other school staff in strategies to promote
    attendance, to identify those pupils at risk of low attendance and to support families
    who face significant challenges;
  • Funding towards the cost of running school minibuses to help parents and carers get
    their children to school;
  • Support for alternative provision for those pupils who find attending school
  • Additional pastoral support (social workers, inclusion managers and learning
    mentors) to work with pupils and their families who may be experiencing barriers to
    attending school regularly.

The HOA commissioned the National Social Marketing Centre to develop a positive social marketing campaign to support improvements in attendance across Hastings. This has involved research with pupils, families and schools to understand the range of issues impacting on good attendance.