Information in the menus below was updated in August 2021. To contribute information that may be of interest to others in your country, please contact your country’s hosts: Ian Bruce (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Victoria Franklin (email@example.com).
People, groups, and organizations
Not for profit:
- There are two professional membership groups in England (AEWM and NASWE, described below) that represent the views of those working in the area of school attendance. These two groups are taking the initiative for developing links with INSA. This is not an exclusive list of organisations involved in improving school attendance, however the two professional organisations have agreed to co-ordinate information about a broader range of representation and are considering developing a local steering group.
- The Association for Education Welfare Management (AEWM). Since its formation in 1917 the AEWM has been providing professional support for managers in Education Social Work (ESW), the Education Welfare Service (EWS), and safeguarding in education. It helps deliver effective and competent services – accessible to children, families and schools – by maintaining a network of professionals and providing a forum for members to share, support, and consult. The objectives are:
- to promote and safeguard the rights of children and young persons and to establish and foster co-operation with other organisations working in the interests of children and young persons;
- to advance the professional interests of its members;
- to promote and improve the ethos of social inclusion;
- to encourage the development and training of all staff in education welfare and social inclusion;
- to disseminate information to the membership on developments in education welfare and social inclusion.
AEWM has links with Government and other political and professional bodies including the Department for Education, Teacher Associations and Unions, and its sister organisation NASWE (see below). Members receive information on current issues and potential changes affecting their work and are given opportunities to comment on consultation documents. They are also offered training and supporting literature. Regional groups meet quarterly to provide a forum for debate, exchange of views, and a vehicle for the provision and discussion of information. Please contact the National Executive Committee member and former president of the AEWM, Ian Norman-Bruce: firstname.lastname@example.org
- The National Association for Support Workers in Education (NASWE) was founded in 1884. It is the voice of all those working to promote school attendance and social inclusion in education. NASWE is the only professional association representing the views of both practitioners and managers. It works with its members, who may be employed in a professional or a voluntary capacity, to support the education, attendance, and welfare of children and young people within the education system. This includes those employed by local authorities, schools, academies, voluntary sector organisations and the private sector. NASWE is continually seeking to broaden, strengthen and diversify its membership. Why Join NASWE?
- Keep up to date with Government initiatives; NASWE National Council representatives meet directly with the Department for Education several times a year. Get your voice heard; a forum where you can share your views, concerns and ideas.
- Access user-friendly practice documents and research information.
- An annual conference with keynote speakers and an opportunity to meet colleagues from different settings.
- Confidence in a professional organisation that works to promote and advance the interests of its members.
Members of NASWE become part of an association and group of professionals committed to:
- the promotion of educational inclusion and equality for all children and young people;
- the establishment of National Occupational Standards in practice, recruitment and training;
- professional development at all levels;
- responding to Government initiatives and proposals on all matters relating to school age children; we ask for your views and make sure that government receives them, sharing members’ and National Council responses;
- ensuring inclusion and equality in our own organisation and structure.
The President of NASWE, Victoria Franklin, can be contacted via: email@example.com
- Wales has historically, since 1870, always had a higher rate of non-attendance than other parts of the UK, namely England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Following the two-year Review into Behaviour & Attendance in Wales (NBAR) between 2006-2008, rates of attendance in the vast majority of schools have improved considerably. After 1999, the Welsh Government and Welsh Assembly assumed responsibility for managing education in Wales including school attendance. Schools in Wales are now grouped into four colour-coded groups depending upon their overall performance. Green schools are high-achieving schools with blue and yellow schools rated as category 2 or category 3 respectively. The fourth category, red schools, are those which are under-performing and tend to have the lowest rates of attendance, more behavioural issues and the lowest standards of academic performance. Although Wales has 21 local authorities, oversight and responsibility for managing and improving rates of attendance is the responsibility of the four regional consortia (North & Mid Wales, South-West Wales, Cardiff & the Vale of Glamorgan & South East Wales). Schools are also inspected by Estyn (the Welsh-equivalent of Ofsted) who scrutinise their rates of attendance most carefully. However, the national targets given for schools to meet in Wales are around 2% lower than for those in England and arguably, penalties for failing to meet these targets are considered less punitive as well.
Current and upcoming activities and achievements
- 2021 November: Appointment by Government of Attendance Advisers across Local Authorities in England.
- Regular Meetings with professional association members and the Department for Education Attendance Policy team
- 2021 July: Supporting Families: school attendance and whole family working webinar.
- 2021 April and ongoing until March 2022: Supporting Families Programme.
- Introducing Family Hubs.
- 'The school attendance and home learning experiences study': The COVID-19 pandemic brought many disruptions to children’s education, including the education of children with intellectual (learning) disability and/or autism. We have launched an important new study to understand the educational experiences of children with an intellectual disability and/or autism about a year after the COVID-19 pandemic started in the UK. An online survey will be live over the summer of 2021. We are collecting data from approximately 1,500 parents of 5 to 15 year-old children across all 4 UK countries. The study is looking at school attendance and home learning experiences of children with intellectual disability and/or autism. The study will provide evidence on the impact of COVID-19 on school attendance and home education for children with an intellectual disability and or autism. If you are a parent interested in the study, please read ‘Information for Participants’. To find out more about the research project and team members, click here.
- Ongoing regular meetings with DFE and NASWE/AEWM re attendance matters.
- Ongoing COVID Guidance:
Past activities and achievements
- 2020 November 6: NASWE/DFE Webinar Best Practice: Reopening Schools - The challenge of supporting regular attendance.
- 2020 October/November: DFE Consultation / Inquiry into Home Education.
- 2020 October 13: AEWM Conference (Birmingham subject to COVID -19 restrictions): Provisional focus: Trauma based practice with school attendance.
- 2020 August 25: Ensuring a smooth transition back to education and learning following lockdown. Webinar - What Works for Children's Social Care.
- 2020 June 5: Practical Solutions to Educational Inequality. University of Cumbria. Reducing the symptoms of Early School Leaving, Drop Out, NEET, Exclusion, Absence, Truancy and ‘Failure’. International Research Conference.
- 2020 June 4: Practical Solutions to Educational Inequality. Reducing the symptoms of Early School Leaving, Drop Out, NEET, Exclusion, Absence, Truancy and ‘Failure’. National Practitioners Conference University of Cumbria.
- 2020 May 20: AEWM Training Conference and AGM with Department for Education and Ofsted focus on returning to school after COVID-19.
- 2020 May 11: NASWE National Council meeting -theme Remodelling the organisation to fit the future for school attendance.
- 2020 March, ongoing: NASWE / AEWM Work with Department for Education on COVID 19 response for schools/children/parents.
- 2020 March 26: Whole year pupil absence data release for England 2018/2019.
- 2020 February: Working with the Behaviour Insights Team using Behavioural Psychology to influence school attendance behaviour of students and parents.
- 2020 January: Start of collaboration with Studybugs on use of a free online platform / APP for school attendance and illness.
- 2019 September 27: Attendance Workshop Westminster Insight.
- 2019 July 5: NASWE National Council Meeting Birmingham.
- 2019 ongoing: NASWE and AEWM are involved with a Government working party looking at improving outcomes for Children in Need of Care and Protection.
- 2019 ongoing: NASWE and AEWM are in consultation with Government about Children who are not in education, home education regulation and unregistered schools.
- 2019, May 22: AEWM Annual General Meeting and Training Day. ‘Children Missing Out - Barriers to Education and Attendance’, including input from DfE and Ofsted. Arden Hotel, Solihull, Birmingham.
- 2018, December 14: NASWE Annual General Meeting. The Priory Rooms, Birmingham.
- 2018, October 17: AEWM Conference, ‘Children’s Health and School Attendance’. Arden Hotel, Solihull, Birmingham.
- 2018, May 23: AEWM Annual General Meeting and Training Day, ‘Networking - Academies - EHE Lord Soley’. The Arden Hotel, Solihul, Birmingham.
- 2018: NASWE and AEWM consultation group working with Lord Soley regarding Private Members Bill on reforming regulation of Home Education
- 2017, October 18: AEWM Conference, ‘Children Missing Education’. Arden Hotel, Solihull, Birmingham.
- 2017, May 23– 24: AEWM Centenary Conference & Training Day. Arden Hotel, Solihull Birmingham.
- 2016, April: NASWE Network Event for strategic leads of support agencies working with Children and Young people across England.
Helpful links and other resources
- A list of organisations and charities supporting children and families and working with government on policy including engagement in education. Click on the link to navigate to published reports and resources.
- Keeping Children Safe In Education
- What Works for Children's Social Care
- COVID-19: Guidance and resources to assist with school and other education settings attendance. The Department for Education have produced a toolkit to help support children and family social workers with attendance conversations. The toolkit includes a range of guidance and resources to help explain the benefits and importance of attendance at summer activities, school clubs and formal childcare as well as the return to school, college, early years and childcare settings in September, providing an environment where all children and young people can achieve and thrive. It is designed to be used in combination with social workers drawing on their own local authority’s guidance and resources. For example, social workers should link in with the services that support attendance and SEND. Please see this link for a full list of resources and guidance.
- Barnardo’s - National Children’s Charity, Back-to-School
- Anna Freud -National Centre for Children and Families
- State of the Nation 2020: Children and Young People's Well Being
- Attendance Matters Magazine
- School attendance: Guidance for schools
- Statistics: Pupil absence
- Children Missing Education by National Children’s Bureau
- Off-rolling: Using data to see a fuller picture (Ofsted)
- DFE Pupil Absence data - whole year
- Behavioural Insights Team