The Foundations Approach
The 5 Foundations of Effective Attendance Practice framework is modelled on the work of Professor Katherine Weare. The emphasis is on developing a school culture and climate which builds a sense of connectedness and belonging to ensure all children can attend school and thrive. The approach ensures schools prioritise building solid working relationships with children / parents prior to any escalation. The approach allows educational settings to identify triggers early that can lead to poor attendance issues such as; mental health issues, lack of trust, communication and relationship breakdowns and the possible lack of networking opportunities both internal (in-school) and external (external agencies).
The Foundations framework has most recently been reviewed by the Department for Education. The Foundations framework received an excellent report following the four-day review.
“The Foundations approach is an excellent example of best practice; there are very clear and detailed systems and procedures in place to manage absence and attendance consistently”.
(Michelle O’Dell DFE Attendance Advisor March 2022)
Aims of the Foundations strategy
· Increase school attendance and reduce Persistent Absence to meet set targets.
· Ensure attendance is well managed within the school, with the appropriate level of resources allocated.
· Enable the school setting to make informed use of attendance data to target interventions appropriately, focusing on the key demographic groups highlighted in the 2022 DFE paper.
· Create an ethos within every education setting in which good attendance is recognised as the norm and every child / young person aims for excellent attendance.
· Make attendance and punctuality a priority for all children and families.
· Set focused targets to improve individual attendance and whole school attendance levels.
· Embed the 5 Foundations of Effective Attendance Practice framework which defines agreed roles and responsibilities and promotes consistency in carrying out designated tasks.
· Record and monitor attendance and absenteeism, applying appropriate strategies to minimise absenteeism.
· Develop a systematic approach to gathering and analysing relevant attendance data.
· Provide support, advice and guidance to parents, children and young people and develop mutual cooperation between home and the school in encouraging good attendance and supporting identified attendance issues.
· Use a rewards-based system which recognises good attendance and punctuality are achievements.