Posted on: Thursday 10 November 2022
A campaign has been launched to increase the number of children who regularly attend school in Torfaen in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Between October 2019 and October 2022, average primary school attendance in the borough fell by three per cent, from 95 to 92 per cent. Average secondary school attendance reduced by six per cent, from 94 to 88 per cent.
Schools are now backing a new #NotInMissOut campaign by Torfaen Council's education service, which aims to celebrate the varied benefits of going to school every day including a great education, fun activities and spending time with friends.
Pupils and staff from Llanyrafon Primary School, Ysgol Bryn Onnen, Abersychan School and Ysgol Gymraeg Gwynllyw are among the first to be featured in a series of social media videos promoting just some of the reasons their pupils - and staff - love going to school.
You can watch the videos on the Council's YouTube page.
Torfaen Council will be working with other schools to promote their exciting curricular and extra-curricular activities over the coming months. Keep an eye on your local school's website and social media channels, or Torfaen Council's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels, to follow the campaign.
Councillor Richard Clark, Executive Member for Education, said: "The coronavirus pandemic was a difficult time for everyone, but thankfully the pandemic is over and schools have returned to normal.
"Children who regularly take time off - or go on holiday during the term time - risk falling behind in lessons. They also miss out on the chance to benefit from the vast array of resources and experiences schools have to offer.
"Such as learning to play different sports or musical instruments; access to science equipment; performing on a stage; taking on roles within the school that can help with university or job applications; careers advice, or just spending time with friends.
"There is support available to children and families who struggle to attend school regularly, but action can be taken if pupils do not attend school."
The target attendance rate for primary and secondary schools in Torfaen is 95 per cent.
Pupils who take off an average of half a day off a week will have an attendance rate of 90 per cent. Those who take off an average of one day off a week will have an attendance rate of 80 per cent.
Allowing children to take time off for reasons other than illness could be classed as unauthorised absences and may result in a Fixed Penalty Notice.
To report your child as ill, or to arrange an authorised absence, parents should contact their child's school as soon as possible.
Parents who have difficulty getting their children to school, or think there may be a reason why they don't want to go to school, should speak to their child's class teacher, Head of Year or Headteacher for help and support.
There is also advice and support available from the school’s Education Welfare Officer. For more information, visit our website.