Attendance: MPs call for mental health absence code

A mental health absence code, better resources for SEND support, breakfast clubs and enrichment activities, and a national mentoring programme – all could be key to tackling the school attendance crisis.
Image: Adobe Stock

These are among the recommendations from an inquiry by the Education Select Committee into the troubling rates of persistent absence in schools post-pandemic.

The cross-party inquiry has concluded that growing demand for mental health services and SEND support, as well as increasing cost-of-living pressures and other issues, are compounding the already worsening attendance problems since the Covid outbreak.

Cross-party MPs on the committee have made several recommendations that they say could address attendance problems caused by the mental health crisis as well as better support SEND students to attend in mainstream schools.

The report – entitled Persistent absence and support for disadvantaged pupils – also praises the DfE’s current attendance mentors pilot and urges progress towards a national roll-out.

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