The Hastings Opportunity Area has funded a number of projects to improve
attendance in schools. These include:

  • Christchurch CE Primary School and Ark Castledown supported parents with transport barriers – we have provided funding towards running of school mini buses and breakfast clubs (in addition to Magic Breakfast club).
  • All Saints, Dudley, Baird, Ore Village Primary Academy and St Leonards CE Primary are working with The Education futures trust to provide Key worker support to those families with attendance issues. They key workers will work with families to find out individual causes of low attendance and support families to address these underlying issues.
  • The 7 University of Brighton Academy Trust Primary Schools and the 2 secondary schools are using the support of additional Education Welfare Officer (one working across the primary schools and one working across the secondary schools) to train academy team members in facilitating positive attendance for children and families. This includes training teachers and other school staff in strategies to promote attendance, in early identification of pupils at risk of low attendance and in supporting families with attendance issues.
  • At New Horizons we funded an attendance improvement manager to work with targeted families and pupils to address any current barriers to attendance. They collected, supported and encouraged students to attend (using the school’s mini-bus) to collect target pupils, designed appropriate rewards and trained up existing school staff so that over time, they can take on this role.
  • Torfield and Saxon Mount – we provided funding towards the running of their mini-bus to enable pupils to take part in enrichment activities, and so engage children and incentivise attendance;
  • We funded the Fellowship of St Nicholas to carry out research across a number of early years settings to identify at an early stage the issues and difficulties faced by parents around attendance and the strategies currently in place to support these parents.

In addition to this, we funded the following projects in secondary schools that will have a positive impact on attendance:

  • Ark William Parker and Ark Helenswood (Ark Alexandra) are developing alternative provision for those pupils at risk of poor attendance.
  • A range of pastoral support and piloting new approaches to working with pupils and their families with poor attendance – at St Leonards Academy (2 Inclusion managers), The Hastings Academy (Inclusion manager and a family learning mentor).