Q. Could you please advise on what procedures to follow for Year 12 pupils who are not attending their courses? We have two pupils in Year 12 who are feeling that they cannot complete the year. One has found work experience and an apprenticeship starting in October.

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A. My first question would be do you have a clear policy that explains how Year 12 and 13 non-attendance will be addressed? If not, this is something I would suggest that you consider putting in place. The national legislation and guidance on school attendance relates to pupils who are statutory school age. Year 12 pupils are not statutory school age, so this becomes a matter of the setting’s policies and procedures. While attendance for Year 12 pupils is not compulsory since 2014, all pupils are required to participate in education or training until their eighteenth birthday (Education and Skills Act 2008).

In the first instance I would advise that you arrange one-to-one support meetings with these pupils to explore what the barriers are to their attendance and how you can support them to continue with their course or transition to alternative education or employment. This meeting can be used to agree attendance targets, and actions, for both the young person and the setting, which will enable the pupil to meet these targets.

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About Author

Joanne Sierzega

Joanne Sierzega worked for almost 16 years in local authority education welfare. Since then she has established CSAWS (Central School Attendance and Welfare Services Ltd) with two partners. CSAWS comprises a team of education welfare officers who are committed to achieving better outcomes for children by securing regular attendance at school.

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