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DFE announce expansion of attendance hubs programme - 16th Jan 2024

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Attendance is arguably one of the biggest challenges facing the school system today. 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. Almost two in five disadvantaged pupils were persistently absent.

In response to this, The Department for Education (DFE) has announced the expansion of the Attendance hubs programme with eighteen new hubs announced as part of a push to cut high – post-Covid absence rates. A total of 32 hubs will now provide support to help drive down absence at 2,000 schools across the country.

What are attendance hubs?

Designed for senior leaders in mainstream maintained schools and academies with oversight of attendance. Attendance hubs are led by senior leaders in schools with effective attendance practice. Through their hubs, lead schools share their strategies and resources for improving 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


In response to this, James Bowen, assistant general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:

“Early intervention and support makes such a difference to young people and can be a lifeline for parents too. There must be a clear plan to extend this sort of provision across the whole country.

“The work of such hubs is vital, but the government also needs to do far more to address the underlying issues many families are facing. We know that childhood poverty has a clear negative affect on short-term and long-term outcomes. Too many children continue to live in poverty in this country. “

To register your interest in joining an attendance hub or to find out more visit the DFE website

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