Improvement of both teacher quality and attendance are 2 critical factors for the programme. The most important factor in determining how well children do is the quality of teachers and teaching. If children are not attending school, then our other efforts have no impact.
Quality teaching: the challenge
- Like many coastal towns, some Hastings schools struggle to recruit teachers. The issue is most acute in maths and science subjects and at middle leadership level
- Enrolling 30 teachers and leaders in a National Professional Qualification (NPQ) in leadership, fully funded by the Hastings Opportunity Area
- Supporting teacher recruitment in Hastings through programmes such as Teach First and Now Teach
- Providing schools with expert advice and support from experienced educationalists. Education advisers have visited nearly every school, working with senior leaders to understand their priorities
- Working with all academy trusts, the local authority, and local training providers to discuss teacher recruitment and retention challenges
Attendance at school in Hastings is poor. The overall absence rate at primary and secondary school is above the national average. There are many different underlying causes for poor attendance the including mental health and resilience of children and young people.
What we are doing
We expect that our work to support young people and their families to improve mental health and resilience will lead to improved attendance. We also expect that our efforts to broaden horizons and prepare young people for work will lead to increased engagement in school, and therefore better attendance.
In addition to these actions, we will work with early years providers, schools and colleges to develop a town-wide strategy to improve attendance, drawing on the best behavioural insights research and working with partners across sectors.