I have never known a more desperate time for vulnerable families, recovering from the pandemic and now facing the biggest cost of living crisis for decades.
Pressure on the Government funding has never been greater, but neither has the need to support vulnerable families now so their children can get back to school and catch up on lost learning.
Number of children missing out on school is growing.
Official Statistics show the problem of pupil absence is getting worse, not better. According to a leading Think Tank the Centre for Social Justice, new figures out at the end of May show that we now have 1000 schools across the country with at least a full class worth of students out more often than they are in.
School-Home Support’s latest impact data shows the growing scale of need. Only two terms into this school year, our intensive support caseload is close to last year’s total for the whole year. In just two terms ‘Interactions’ (which is how we measure our support) are up by 23%
Our work in Liverpool is already bearing fruit
Expanding our service into Liverpool couldn’t come at a better time for local families.
After 3 months of working alongside Liverpool partners, our community practitioner service is already making a positive difference with the average increase in school attendance at 4%. I’m delighted with the impact we’re having in Liverpool and elsewhere, but those we help are the tip of the iceberg, there are thousands we still can’t reach.
BBC Radio 4 Appeal
We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to fundraise for our families via the BBC Radio 4 Appeal starting on 19 June. Please do your best to listen, donate and spread the word. It will be presented by our Patron Lady Sophie Windsor and you can hear a flavour of it here. We are so thankful to the Bloomfield Trust for committing to match the first £10,000 worth of donations.
Our influencing work remains a strong focus for the next months. The new Schools Bill, now making its way through Parliament, has a strong attendance focus, but more needs to be done if the new legislation is going to result in more help for families getting the support they need so their children can thrive at school. We will be the case for early support and against sanctions as well as funding for whole family support.
SHS practitioners and families met Secretary of State, Nadhim Zahawi at Aspire Academy Blackpool in April, providing an opportunity to share our unique model, approach and impact. We also got to present our lasting solution to the absence problem before he laid his first Schools Bill before Parliament in May.
We also welcome the attendance focus in the Schools Bill and look forward to working with officials, MPs and Lords to improve it in the coming months. New Government guidance on Attendance, published in May along with the Schools Bill shows that our approach has been taken on board- though, at the moment, there is no new funding available for schools which will be limiting for schools who need our support. Without funding, and sanctions for absence still on the table, we are concerned that schools and local authorities will revert to non-attendance penalties, at a time when low-income families can least afford it.
How can you support School-Home Support?
The demand and need for our services have never been greater. If you want to help us, you can donate today, and help us continue to be there for the vulnerable children and families we support on a daily basis.
Alternatively, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, to find out more about how your support could ensure children are able to access education to enable them to achieve their potential.