Knowsley Council will be working with Barnado’s who will provide Attendance Mentors from September 2023 to improve attendance across secondary schools.
Knowsley has been selected as it is a Priority Education Investment Area, identified by the Department for Education.
Overall attendance in Knowsley is 91.2%, compared to the national figure of 92.4%.
Attendance Mentors work very closely with individual pupils who have a pattern of persistent absences, as well as their family, to identify and address specific barriers to attendance.
Barnado’s commenced the three-year attendance mentoring initiative in 2022, which aims to support pupils and identify best practice that can be shared with other schools and local authorities.
Barnado’s has been delivering mentoring support in Middlesborough over the last year as part of a pilot to over 1,665 pupils.
The pilot is now being expanded to cover a further four areas – Knowsley being one of those areas.
Tailored one-to-one support is offered to a group of persistently and severely absent pupils with a view to identify the barriers to attendance and providing targeted support to help them to overcome the barriers. The support also extends to the pupil’s family if required.
Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said:
“We know that regular school attendance is essential to ensure our children and young people get the very best start in life.
“I’m delighted to be working with Barnado’s to provide targeted support to pupils with the ultimate goal of increasing engagement and attendance in school.
“Regular school attendance helps a child’s development as well as supporting their future aspirations and we will do all that we can to ensure that all children have the opportunity to learn, grow and develop through their education journey.”
Attendance Mentors will be working in local schools from the start of new academic year in September 2023.