Our programme for persistent truants gets them back to school!

For many years concerns have been raised by, governments, schools and education authorities about pupils who do not attend school regularly, who have difficulty getting to school on time and who may have parents who at a minimum had some collusion with their child’s truancy.

Getting It Right in the Morning has been developed by ‘Share Think and Act’ in collaboration with Goldsmiths College’s ‘Turning Point Education Training Consultancy. The project is based around a range of partnerships, and was designed to deliver a cost-effective and non-confrontational way to improve poor school attendance, by supporting pupils and their families and to work in conjunction with schools and LEA. Getting It Right in the Morning aims to improve the attendance of students considered persistent truants, thereby directly raising their attainment at school. The intervention is solution focused, pupil-centred, based on contractual agreement as pupils and parents agree action plans. A number of different techniques were utilised to motivate, rekindle, and support an interest in regular school attendance.

In a nutshell

The Project method requires that each pupil is allocated a dedicated worker, who is then in daily contact and whose actions are based on contractual agreement. The intervention volunteers report daily & have weekly supervision.

Getting It Right in the Morning requires that Schools refer suitable pupils and in turn ‘Share Think and Act’ visits the home of each child to gain the agreement of parents / pupils for their involvement. Pupils, parents & workers attend an all day contracting event at a venue suitable for group bonding. Pupil, parent and volunteer sign a binding contract that specifies key steps to improve attendance within a supportive structure.

Project evaluation involves data collection from schools on pupil attendance, parents’ perceptions, and the assessment of intervention volunteers. School attendance data is the baseline for judging the project’s success and these are taken directly from school registers as provided by the lead teacher from each school.

 

Creating effective relationships with parents who have had difficult relationships with school is one of the of the programme challenges.

The intervention volunteers who have daily contact with the students are key to the intervention. Intervention volunteers are recruited and trained before the start of the scheme. They are all CRB checked at an enhanced level, and references are taken up.

The intervention volunteers training workshops include the following topics:

  • Solution Focus Therapy training
  • Professional ethics and its application to practice
  • Understanding diversity – working with pupils from different cultures
  • School policies and procedures including legal matters
  • Understanding and agreeing personal contracts
  • How to devise and set SMART objectives
  • Using learning supervision

All intervention workers attend weekly group supervision sessions. Volunteers complete weekly report sheets for each young person. The weekly report is aimed at keeping a record of the development of each child and parent, Using scaled and miracle questions it also reinforced the methodology the workers were expected to use in their interventions with young people. Intervention Volunteers also have access the project manager for one to one supervision as and when needed.

 

Key outcomes

  •  48 percent  of pupils increased their attendance by more than 5%
  • 22 percent of pupils increased their attendance by up to 5% percent

 

Long term benefits to the school

  • The trained volunteers remain with the school after the intervention
  • A member of your staff work closely with the programme so that they can repeat the programme with the trained volunteers after the initial intervention
  • ‘Share Think and Act cic’ provides ongoing support, coaching and supervision to staff working on the scheme after the initial intervention

 

Read the programme evaluations 

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