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Guide for attendance officers

Our how-to guide for attendance officers highlights attendance trends to look out for and how to intervene effectively if you suspect a child is at risk of becoming persistently absent or falling out of education altogether. We have based the guide on our analysis of attendance data from three Multi-Academy Trusts.

Attendance assembly

The new Secretary of State appears in this assembly template produced by the Childrens Commissioner aimed at year six pupils to help them with their transition to secondary school. The template can be adapted to any school.

Back into school: New insights into school absence – evidence from three multi-academy trusts

A new report from the Children’s Commissioner shows how important the first few days of a new term are for ensuring good attendance.

Improving school attendance: support for schools and LAs and guidance for parents

The Department for Education has provided guidance for schools to support improving school attendance. Follow the link for the full guidance materials:

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.

help and hand illustrations

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:

Supporting children in kinship care

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.

Supporting young carers

carerstrust childrenssociety logos

Young Carers in Schools is a free initiative that makes it as easy as possible for schools to support young carers, and awards good practice. Run jointly by Carers Trust and The Children’s Society, the Young Carers in Schools (YCiS) programme works with schools across England to share good practice, provide relevant tools and training, and to celebrate the great outcomes that many schools achieve for young carers. Find out more about how to take part here:

young carers alliance logo

From Spring 2023 Young Carers are going to be included in the school census for the first time. This means that schools will need to have identified their young carers to be able to report on a pupil’s Young Carer status. This guide explains more about this change and how schools can prepare.

The Children’s Commissioner has called for all schools to implement a Young Carers policy to ensure that Young Carers are recognised and supported. You can find examples of young carers policies created by the Young Carers Alliance here:

The Young Carers Alliance have put together a helpful checklist for schools to help with developing your Young Carers support:

The West Sussex young carers group have identified the following to 10 tips for supporting young carers in school:

  • Recognise that our responsibility as carers can affect our education and schoolwork
  • Find out about us, what we need and how we are not like other students
  • Take time to find out about individual problems at home. Sometimes we’re too embarrassed to tell you ourselves
  • Don’t automatically punish us if we’re late. Sometimes we can’t help being late because we’re helping out at home
  • Provide more support such as lunchtime drop-ins or homework clubs
  • Be flexible – give us more time and help to do homework or coursework
  • Include information about young carers and disability issues in PHSE lessons
  • Let us phone parents if we need to find out if they are OK
  • Make sure there is a clear and up to date community notice board which has support information for us and where else we can get help in the community
  • Ensure teachers are offered training on young carers and disability issues both at university and on inset days.

West Sussex young carers have also created:

A free to use survey tool to identify young carers: The Multidimensional Assessment of Caring Activities (MACA-YC18) is a questionnaire to be completed by young carers that can be used to provide a score of the total amount of caring activity undertaken by a child or young person.

caring together logo

Available to schools in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk through Caring Together, the Carer Friendly Tick Award provides support and guidance to schools to help them support their young carers. Find out more here:

young carer year 6 transition booklet cover

A booklet created by Caring Together with young carers in year six for schools to carry out with their pupils to support their move to secondary school.

Young Carers Awareness Resource for EYFS and KS1 cover

There is no lower age limit on being a young carer. Caring Together have produced this resource pack for schools focused on supporting young carers through Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. You can download the resource pack here:

Additional resources

Latest – Resources for families