During the last academic year, more than 28% of secondary school pupils were persistently absent (DfE, 2023). Huge numbers of children are unable to access full time mainstream school for a multitude of complex reasons.
There is growing consensus that this is an issue that is not going away and affected schools, parents and children are under intense pressure as a result. Much has been written about this crisis and the need for action and major recovery and catch-up plans and how vital it is that we get back to how things were pre-pandemic. The media has fuelled unhelpful polarisations that keep everybody stuck – it is the fault of feckless parents or snowflake children or soft teachers…
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