Our Schools Coordinator for Attendance, Samantha Lowman, has written for SSAT (the Schools, Students and Teachers Network) on why attendance tends to drop after the holidays and how you can prevent it.
The article begins:
“Most of us take it for granted that the end of the Christmas holiday means going back to school. Some dread it, some can’t wait. But what about the children who don’t make it back for the first week of the new term, or at all?
Attendance often drops after school holidays, and this occurs for a range of reasons.
Some parents use the break to book an extended holiday, thinking it will slip through the gaps. Some parents struggle to return to the routine of bringing children to school; school simply isn’t the priority. But there are more serious reasons.
Family circumstances can change during the holidays (particularly during Christmas, when tensions run high) and schools are often the last to know. Children with separated parents might move from living with one parent to another, moving schools in the process; or where there is domestic violence, a parent might flee with the child. There is also an increased risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) over the holidays: one of our SHS practitioners recently dealt with a case where a child took extra time to return to school after the holidays as she had experienced FGM and the family were waiting for her to heal. Noticing the signs, the SHS practitioner flagged this to the authorities and an investigation is underway.
There are also reasons relating to poverty: a child loses their school shoes over the holidays and their parents can’t afford new ones so they keep them home, not knowing what to do.”
You can read the full article here: https://www.ssatuk.co.uk/blog/tackling-attendance/