Education Secretary Gillian Keegan thinks that teachers should drive to absent students’ homes and pick them up.
She stated that post-pandemic low attendance at school is now “a crisis,” and that headteachers “have a duty” to pick up pupils.
When asked how she would handle the 125,000 kids who will miss more classes than they will, she insisted that she would “pick them up myself.”
They [headteachers] certainly have a duty, Ms. Keegan stated in a statement to Sky News. Everybody needs to do their share. You may need to text the parent in the morning or visit the home occasionally. You simply have to take action when it is possible.
“We don’t want headteachers spending their entire days doing that. But to be honest, it’s worth it right now if it helps someone enroll in school. If I could, I’d go pick them up myself.
Headteachers have a “duty” to pick up absent students from their homes, according to Education Secretary Gillian Keegan (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images).
As persistent absence rates rise in the wake of the pandemic, the Children’s Commissioner claimed earlier this year that a “huge” proportion of kids are skipping school on Fridays.
Local authorities said that in 2021–2022, around 100,000 kids were completely missing from class.
The government interprets this to mean that they are not enrolled in school and are not receiving a decent education elsewhere other than a school.
In England, more than 1.7 million students, or 24.2% of all youngsters, missed 10% or more of their scheduled classes in the fall of 2022–2023.
Additionally, 125,000 students—or 1.7% of all students—missed 50% or more of the sessions in the fall of 2022–2023, according to government statistics.
When asked if the government ought to mandate the keeping of a register of absent students, Mrs. Keegan responded, “My fellow MPs are quite concerned about it.
“We do aim to put it on a statutory footing and we will do that as soon as the parliamentary time allows,” the spokesperson said. “I don’t know the specific timing because there is a parliamentary process we have to go through.
The government maintains that it is addressing student absences in the areas most affected by them by implementing a pilot program of attendance hubs and mentors who will engage with families to reduce absence rates.
Up to 600 primary schools in England will receive support from nine new attendance hub leads, and Ms. Keegan is adamant that the new school year will see an effort to get absent students back into classes.
According to statistical evidence, kids who start school in September are more likely to finish it.
Therefore, there is a window of opportunity when we should really strive to coordinate mentors, attendance centers, local government, schools, and families to work to get kids back in school and to remove obstacles.