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Guidance for parents on school attendance

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Members of the Attendance Action Alliance have worked with the Department for Education to develop this short guide which helps parents understand how they can work with their school and local authority to support their children to attend school and get the right support.

Applying for a school place and checking if your child is able to receive free school meals

Guidance on how to apply for a school place can be found in the following links:

You can also check if your child can get free school meals in England and find out how to apply on your local authority’s website: logo

Moving from primary to secondary school – Activity pack

Together with children on my Children’s Advisory Board, we have created an activity pack to support you moving from primary to secondary school. It has questions to help children think about things they might want to find out about their new school, things they like doing and want to continue doing, who they can go to for support and their goals for the future. We also share some top tips from other children who’ve already moved from primary to secondary school.

Support for parents looking after children with mental health concerns

Some children told us that they struggle to attend school due to feelings of anxiety, or other mental health worries. Find top tips from the NHS for looking after a child with mental health difficulties and advice for looking after your own mental health here:

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BBC Bitesize share wellbeing tips for parents to help you support a healthy, happy childhood – with advice on food, sleep, mindfulness, as well as ways to look after you and your child’s mental health.

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Young Minds parents helpline offers three different services to parents and carers who are concerned about their child’s mental health.

Young Minds A-Z guide gives you advice on how to help your child with their feelings and behaviour, as well as mental health conditions and life events.

If your child is anxious about school, or they are unable to go to school, Young Minds have advice on supporting them and working with the school and other services.

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Bullying resources

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If your child is experiencing bullying, or you’re worried they might be, Young Minds share some ways you can support them and places you can get help.

Are you a parent or carer looking for help with bullying? Kidscape is here to help and have created top tips to support you.

BBC Bitesize Parents’ Toolkit

BBC Bitesize Parents’ Toolkit is the place for mums, dads, carers, and the whole parenting community to find stories, expert advice and fun activities that will help you support your child in a changing world.

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Support for parents whose children have special educational needs or disability

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Contact for families with disabled children have provided a helpful guide for parents of children with SEND to help you understand what support your child may be entitled to. Read the guide here:

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The National Autistic Society have a comprehensive guide for parents to support their children through transitions into and between schools and they also put together a range of resources and information to support parents of children with autistic children navigate the education system:

Help at Hand

The Children’s Commissioner’s Help at Hand service offers advice and assistance to children in care, children working with social services, children living away from home, and care leavers. Find out more about the service and how to contact the team here:

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Support for kinship carers

As the Family Review highlighted, family comes in many different forms and so it’s important that we hear about different experiences of family. You can learn more about kinship care directly from the children who experience these family arrangements. The Children’s Commissioner’s team made this video with Kinship Carers Liverpool that you can watch and share with your students to raise awareness.

I found it hard that in 2022 young people who are in kin families still feel like they have to explain their situation over and over, by educating professionals on kinship this will hopefully reduce the need for a kin kid to have to keep repeating their story

Child in kinship care.

Kinship Carers Liverpool have also made the following animation to raise awareness about Kinship and what it is.

Latest – Resources for families