Sefton Council say ‘miss school, miss out’ as it launches new push on school attendance
20 September 2023 4min read
Sefton Council is reminding parents, carers and children about the importance of school attendance as the new school year begins.
Through the new ‘Miss School, Miss Out’ campaign, families in Sefton are being reminded that when a child misses school, even for just one day, they lose out on vital education.
Children’s ability to develop friendship groups and social skills and confidence can also be affected. Homework can build up, which impacts on home life.
Featuring the hashtag #EveryMinuteMatters, the ‘Miss School, Miss Out’ also makes it clear to parents and carers that holidays in term time are in most cases unacceptable.
‘Miss School, Miss Out’ also reminds parents and carers that they can be fined for their children not attending school during term time without a valid excuse, although there are some valid reasons for non-attendance that are accommodated.
Sefton schools and the Council will work with families who may be struggling or may need support to improve their child’s attendance. #EveryMinuteMatters will also be used to share material to support children into school.
Families that do have valid reasons for non-attendance such as poor health or exceptional family circumstances will be urged to talk with their school. Working together it is possible to maximise learning time and find solutions that keep children in a learning environment in some capacity.
The timing of the campaign this year coincides with School Attendance Awareness Month which places emphasis on September as a crucial month in a child’s school journey. Numerous studies have shown that children who miss the first week of term have poorer outcomes educationally and socially than those children who were present. The Government’s own data supports this throughout the school year across all key stages.
Assistant Director for Education, Tricia Davies said:
“We know that there is a clear correlation between low attendance and poorer outcomes across education and other softer skills such as children and young people’s ability to make and retain friendships.
“Our teachers are noting that absence also impacts directly on children’s confidence, as well as creating gaps in their knowledge compared with their classmates.
“As one teacher said to me, ‘if they are not in school, they are missing out on everything school has to offer’.
“We will always work with families who are struggling with attendance but choosing to take children out of school during term time particularly for holidays is not acceptable. We hope with this campaign that we will demonstrate the educational and social cost to children.”
Suzanne Payne, Chair of Sefton Association of Primary Headteachers said:
“We are really pleased to see the Council take a strong stance on school attendance and fully support the message that children who ‘miss school, miss out.’
“However, we know that attendance can be a challenge for some families for many different reasons and we will always work with families who have valid reasons for non-attendance to make every minute in school matter and minimise that impact.
“Our focus as a collective is on wellbeing and support to ensure that our children are as happy and secure as they can be within school. We will try to minimise any factors in the school environment that may be impacting attendance for our children.
“We all want to build up positive relationships with our families so we can be on hand to offer help or signpost them where necessary to support children into learning. We will work with families to find solutions that work for them.”
Cllr Diane Roscoe, Cabinet Member for Education said:
“I am pleased to see the Council working with our schools to send this strong ‘Miss School, Miss Out’ message during School Attendance Awareness Month to remind families of the positive impact that good school attendance can have on their children’s attainment and development.
“Every day, children are soaking up knowledge and developing vital skills simply by being in school alongside their peers, so it’s important not to let any child miss out.”
We understand that there will be exceptional circumstances and certain challenges around attendance and if this is the case, we urge families to contact their schools.
To stay up to date on news and events in Sefton by subscribing to the My Sefton e-news bulletin. When signing up simply choose ‘All news, events and updates’.Sign up