Primary Attendance – Parentally Condoned Absence

How Hackney’s attendance is improving using strict measures Over the past five years The Learning Trust, which runs Hackney’s Education Service, has got much tougher on primary school attendance and made a 30% improvement. The Government offers a wide range of measures to improve attendance, but unlike some authorities, Hackney is prepared to use the most severe. Parents have faced court action and fines of up to £2,500. The Learning Trust has found it’s the threat as well a willingness to prosecute that’s been the key to reducing absence in primary schools.

We see a local success story in Shacklewell Primary whose attendance was found to be unsatisfactory by Ofsted in 2002 and now has an attendance close to the national average. We also see some of Hackney’s tougher measures in action, such as a truancy sweep at Dalston Market and a home visit to a parent whose daughter’s attendance slipped to 67% earlier in the year. During the home visit we learn that a parenting contract has helped to turn things round.

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