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Head turns around school attendance

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editorial image

A Sutton head teacher has turned around attendance levels at her school by implementing a new ‘truancy call’ system.

Hillcocks Primary School has seen its attendance levels rise from 92 per cent to 95 per cent since head, Louise Reagan, started.

By creating awareness of truancy and introducing a school attendance messaging system called Truancy Call, the head has improved attendance, increased parental engagement and raised awareness of the importance of pupils not missing school.

The call system, from Contact Group, is used to send out automatic text-based reminders to parents if their child is late or absent.

Ms Reagan said: “We decided we needed more contact with parents because at primary school age, it is the parents that bring the children to school.

“We tried phoning and we often couldn’t get through or they didn’t answer and we had to chase them which took up a lot of time.

“We also wrote letters and arranged meetings and then we heard about a school attendance text-based messaging system called Truancy Call from Contact Group and rang to find out more.”

Ms Reagan added that since the system has been in place response rates have been much better than those achieved by phoning parents.

She added: “A lot of parents are very active on their mobiles, we know they have received it and they have the option of sending a message back.

“The idea that you can send a text to all parents in seconds alerting them that their child is absent is great.”

 

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