What parents can do to help to ensure good attendance at school
Parental attitude has a key influence on a child's school attendance and parents/carers can do much to encourage even reluctant pupils to attend.
Good school attendance habits are best started early. Children learn from those around them and you as parents/carers set the standards and expectations for your child. Showing your child the importance of attending school every day not only helps your child to settle quickly when starting school but helps them to keep and maintain friendships and enjoy the school environment.
Be organised, have a plan, be consistent and involve your child.
- create good routines for mornings at home so that your child can arrive punctually and they are properly equipped; this will also mean your mornings can start calmly too
- make time to encourage and show interest. Chat to them about the things they have learnt, what friends they have made and even what they had for lunch! Remember children can be tired when coming out of school, so a short chat over a snack or later that evening may produce a better result than a long list of questions
- read all school communications. A home/school diary can help with communication only when all parties use it as intended
- attend school open evenings and functions
- check your child understands the homework and that it has been completed. Support them in completing homework by creating a calm space for them to work in and set specific times during the week when homework should be done
- share any education concerns your child or you may have with the appropriate member of school staff
- set realistic boundaries and sanctions (do not impose boundaries that neither your child nor you will be able to keep, eg grounding a child for a month will not work, short periods will have much more effect)
- avoid absence from school wherever possible – try to make doctors and dental appointments out of school hours. Absence means your child will miss out on the academic studies and will also learn that education is not the main priority within the family. This can have a lifelong effect.