The absences that contribute most to poor attendance are those regular patterns of one day absence that are rarely picked up until they are well established and difficult to change. The ASP System tracks these with the weekly list of attendance concerns (example shown inside back of register). A very quick and easy form that highlights any pattern of absence as it begins to occur making it much easier to prevent it developing. No one can slip through the net.
It takes literally a minute each week to record the absences of any children and their names (as shown in the sample). As the term progresses the class teacher can recognise any pattern of absence very early on and their list records that recognition. It raises their awareness of absence and if action is swift, just bringing it to the attention of the child or parent can end the casual absence, which picked up later on, requires much more intervention. The headteacher and the EWO need only examine the class teacher’s list (kept with the register) to quickly and efficiently monitor attendance in each class.
If attendance does not improve, each half term the class teacher highlights any child with 50% broken weeks. Those children become causes for concern and are automatically targeted for action the following half term involving their parents or carers. In this way the school maintains an organised, staged response to different levels of absence in a completely objective way. It can no longer be seen as the individual opinion of a class teacher.Well publicised to parents in advance as a whole school policy this empowers the class teacher and makes a big difference to the outcome. There is no need to confront parents. It all happens on the level of concern about missed education. Finally, the list gives all the necessary attendance information for the end of year report. All this for a few minutes a week.