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News and Events

The Government's Campaign regarding School Attendance

Parents may have seen the recently released campaign from the Government targeting children’s attendance at school. This is further to the announcement that school non-attendance is now a key concern for the Government following the news that there are now more than one in five children in England who are persistently absent. 

The Government campaign appears to, in part, target children who are experiencing anxiety in respect of attending school. There is a concern amongst parents of children with Special Educational Needs and Neurodiversity that the campaign fails to understand why many of those pupils are not attending school and instead places blame upon families. It is interesting to see that there are reports that a significant proportion of children with school attendance difficulties are neurodivergent and autistic.

The Government campaign fails to address the fact that spending on Special Educational Needs has reduced in real terms and has resulted in a significant underfunding of Special Educational Needs provision for many of the children experiencing school attendance difficulties. The number of appeals currently being brought with the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal has again increased in the last year; as it has done every year previously. 

At HCB we have seen an increase in the number of enquiries of families who are being threatened with prosecution regarding their children’s non-attendance, when their children have Special Educational Needs. Many of those parents are currently seeking the support of an EHCP which is being refused by the same Local Authority then threatening them with non-attendance. There is clearly therefore, a break down in the support being offered to families and children with Special Educational Needs who have difficulties in attending school on a regular basis. 

If you are experiencing difficulty with your child attending school due to their Special Educational Needs, or are being threatened with prosecution for your child’s non-attendance, it may be that they require the additional support of Special Educational Provision which can only be provided by way of an EHCP. An EHCP can provide additional emotional support provisions, as well as provision to support a young person with transition or anxiety or any many reason that they may be unable to attend school. Further, it may be that the current school that your child is attending is not a suitable fit for them and they require the support that only a specialist school can provide.

If you think your child may require the support of an EHCP or attendance at a specialist school, please do not hesitate to contact us and discuss how we may be able to assist you in securing the correct provision for your child.