Attendance Matters Magazine Issue 33



Supporting vulnerable children who are ill

With stretched services and numbers increasing, how can schools support those pupils who are ill? David Harvey provides his advice.

Ten ways to ensure safeguarding in attendance monitoring

Tracy McLennan identifies ten methods for making sure that signs of abuse or neglect are identified as quickly as possible and are acted upon.

Inspection of attendance – a case study

Headteacher Emma Meadus outlines the questions she was asked at inspection and the lines of enquiry the inspectors followed.

Emotionally based school avoidance (EBSA): What it is and what causes it

Laura Juniper describes what EBSA is and what might cause it. She summarises some of the warning signs and provides some ideas for how we might approach it.

Speaking to difference

Joanna Grace considers systems that endeavour to make sure no child feels uncomfortable about being different. Celebrating our differences might be a kinder and more productive approach.

The virtual school head – an extending role

The role of the virtual school head is being extended to include children with a social worker. Suzanne O’Connell looks at what this includes and considers what attendance officers might gain from it.

The way forward for persistent absence

Victoria Franklin looks back at when the term ‘persistent absence’ originated and considers, following the pandemic, what the focus should be for the future.

Premium plus

Autism: Celebrating difference

Jo Grace writes about the implications of celebrating authenticity in relation to autistic people.

Makaton: Speech, signs and symbols

Suzanne Miell-Ingram MBE and Tracy Upton MBE, co-founders of Singing Hands, give a practical guide to Makaton with some ideas on how to incorporate the tools into the school setting.


Q. I would like to confirm with you how we should record the attendance of a young person who is in custody, is being interviewed by police or is incarcerated.

Q. My senior leadership team have asked for some attendance data for autumn 2021 compared with national averages. Where will I find this comparative data?

Q. We have a pupil who is going to be dual registered at an alternative resource provision (ARP) at another school for three days a  week. For the other two days a week he will attend at our school as usual. How do we code the register and what checks for attendance do we need to make?

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About Author

Dr Suzanne O'Connell

Dr Suzanne O’Connell is a freelance writer specialising in education. She is also the Managing Editor of Attendance Matters Magazine. Prior to this she taught for 23 years and was a headteacher of a junior school in Nuneaton for 11 years.

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