Persistent Absence Team – Part of the Raising Attainment Initiative
This is a brand new area of work for Bradford Council, supported by a new team of Attendance Improvement Officers.
This area of work will be focused primarily around the safeguarding of all of Bradford’s children, supported by data identifying those we feel most at risk. The team will be proactive in choosing which families they work with, bearing in mind local authority
responsibilities for vulnerable pupils, and it may be we work with services such as the Child Exploitation Hub, Integrated Front Door, MARAC, Anti-Social Behaviour Panel or with other members of the Education Safeguarding Team where a particular child is identified
with an attendance concern. The interventions will be short, and geared at ensuring that children are safeguarded from immediate harm, all barriers to improving attendance are identified and ensuring schools are able to address any boundaries that exist.
For this to work, the team will be aligned to the district localities, the 4 officers aligned with East, West, South and Keighley and Shipley. The team will build effective working relationships with the early help localities, together with other support
In summary, a target cohort of children will be identified, an assessment will be completed by talking to families and schools, and an action plan passed to the child's school detailing ideas and solutions to improve that child’s attendance. A review of
the situation will then take place in 12 weeks time, and follow up actions considered should the child’s attendance fail to improve sufficiently Each officer will be expected to assess at least 40 children each half term. The team will not be undertaking
any form of casework, the team will gather information from schools and families, assess the current situation, produce a plan for the school to implement, and review attendance after 12 weeks for impact.
The data the team will use is based on pupil level data that all schools submit automatically to the council via their MIS systems (SIMS, Arbor, Bromcom etc), together with open intervention data provided by the council's Education and Children's Social
Care Databases. The team will use this data to focus their efforts and interventions on persistently absent children without an active intervention from another professional, as these are our most vulnerable persistent absentees.
As well as being data-led, the team will also attend multi-agency panels where children meeting our remit may be discussed, we will take away intelligence on children who are PA, assess the support packages already in place, and decide whether or not to
allocate an attendance improvement officer to undertake an intervention.
In terms of how we measure success in this area, this will be very much around the impact the team has, and to help evidence success, primary and secondary measures have been set:
- 90% of the children we come into contact with will have a higher level of attendance after 12 weeks.
- At least 75% of the children we come into contact will no longer be a Persistent Absentee in the following academic year
- Persistent Absence in Bradford will be in line with the rates for Yorkshire and the Humber by the end of the 2022/23 academic year
- Persistent Absence in Bradford will be better than the national average by the end of the 2025/26 academic year.
Update: 11th March 2022
- The team has received it's first cohort of children, focusing on 160 Year 6 Persistently Absent Children
- The officers are making contact with the childen's schools, before making contact with families shortly after
- The team are also attending panels held in relation to "Breaking the Cycle", MARAC and Anti-Social Behaviour