LGA responds to Children’s Commissioner report on school attendance

"The number of persistently absent children from school is very concerning. Good attendance at school plays a vital role in children’s development and for their wellbeing."


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Responding to the second report on school attendance by England’s Children’s Commissioner, Dame Rachel de Souza, DBE, which estimates there were 1,782,000 pupils persistently absent in the Autumn 2021 term, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:

“The number of persistently absent children from school is very concerning. Good attendance at school plays a vital role in children’s development and for their wellbeing.

“Councils want to ensure every child attends school, however the safety net that schools and councils provide to ensure that children do not miss out on their entitlement to education is stretched to capacity, exacerbated by a lack of resources and powers available to councils to fulfil their statutory duties – which worsened as a result of the pandemic.

“To tackle this, we would like the Government to work to raise the profile of children missing formal full-time education, and resource councils adequately to fulfil their responsibilities in ensuring all children receive a suitable education. This should include adequate funding for local services to work together to provide wraparound support for children’s mental health.

“Councils also need powers to hold schools to account for the support they provide to pupils with SEND, to boost mainstream inclusion.”