Poor school attendance can be a key warning sign of more serious problems to come for a vulnerable child. But how can we intervene to re-engage pupils and improve attendance? Darren Martindale advises

Pupils in vulnerable circumstances – including children in care or those with child in need or child protection plans, those with SEND, or those living in poverty – are statistically far more likely to be persistently absent from school (DfE, 2021).

Consider, too, that according to the findings of the DfE’s review of children in need (DfE, 2019), “children who have needed a social worker have poorer educational outcomes at every stage of education than those who have not, and taking account of other factors associated with attainment, are up to 50% less likely to achieve a strong pass in English and maths GCSEs”.

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