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New Attendance Hubs to provide support

The Department for Education has announced the expansion of the Attendance Hubs programme, with 18 new hubs being added. This will bring the total number of hubs to 32; all hubs are charged with providing support to schools with absence issues. Alongside this provision, a new advertising campaign aimed at parent carers, with the strapline ‘moments matter, attendance counts’, will be seen across the media. If you are a setting that has not yet engaged with an Attendance Hub the deadline for expressions of interest is Monday 15th January.

The programme is designed for senior leaders in mainstream maintained schools and academies with oversight of attendance. The aims of the programme are to:

  • refine approaches to managing attendance in school
  • share good practice for managing attendance with others
  • discuss any common challenges

This comes on the back of a Centre for Social Justice report which stated that some parents believe that children do not need to be in school full-time. CSJ chief executive Andy Cook said the Covid lockdowns had broken the "contract of trust" between schools and parents. In the 2022-23 academic year, DfE figures suggest 22.3% of pupils in England were persistently absent - 17.2% in primary schools and 28.3% in secondary schools - roughly double pre-pandemic levels.