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Improving Secondary Attendance - Meeting the Challenge

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Summary

How one school has battled against the problem of absenteeism to bring itself out of special measures and improve levels of attendance.

When, two years ago, the City School in Sheffield was put into special measures by OFSTED, attendance was cited as a particular problem. Now, out of special measures, amongst the substantial improvements made at the school is the development of a strong attendance ethos.

The school's greatest success has been in reducing the number of persistent absentees, a result of creating a strong home/school liaison team that is creating closer links with families.

The team runs a mentoring project where staff are assigned between two and three students whose attendance lies in the 85 per cent to 90 per cent range. Students are monitored half termly by their mentors who support, encourage and help remove barriers to attending.

The programme also features the work of the school's Health Practitioner who has initiated a number of strategies to help bring down the number of absentees for medical reasons.

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