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Good morning, everyone! Today is a very important day, it’s the first day of a brand-new academic year. I want to take this chance to welcome back every child across the country who is going back to school this week. 

Whether you’re going to school for the first ever time, starting your journey at a new school, or returning after the summer for another year, the first week of a school year is an exciting time for children, parents, and teachers alike. I know that your teachers are looking forward to welcoming you back to school this week. 

There is so much to look forward to in this week ahead, from catching up with friends you didn’t see over the summer to meeting new teachers. As term starts up, you’re going to have so many chances to try new things, start new lessons, join new clubs.  

But I know that some young people won’t be feeling excited about returning this week. For some, the first day back may be incredibly daunting and the idea of going back to school may make you feel nervous. 

Attendance is everyone’s business and that means that we all have a role to play in getting you the help you need to be in class. It’s absolutely crucial that children and young people get the help and support that they need to feel happy and confident attending school.  

If you’re feeling worried about returning to school, you should tell your parents, teachers, teaching assistants, or any other trusted adult in your school. If you are in care, or have a social worker, my Help at Hand team is here to help with support and advice.   

I have put together some resources for children and young people to help to start that journey from worried to excited which you can access here. For schools I have brought together resources which will help you to best support your students here.  

It’s my mission to make sure that every child is in school 100% of the time, with access to a wonderful education, which is their right. September is a very important moment for all children. Getting into good habits in the first few weeks can massively improve your chances of being in school throughout the year. 

I can’t wait to see all the wonderful things that you achieve this year. I will continue to work to make England the best place to grow up. I want you all to be given the help you need to really thrive, at school and beyond.  

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