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Posted on 16th March 2018
Amazing attendance is being celebrated.
A month-long campaign has been held at Epping St John’s School to promote good attendance among students.
The benefits of being in school every day and on time are regularly explained to students, but the recent push and culture change has seen the message hit home.
Zoe Harrison, attendance officer, devotes her time to encouraging students to commit to being in school and ready to learn.
She believes the shift in culture in recent months at the school – since the arrival of executive headteacher Allan Osborne and co-head Emma Ruffles and conversion to the Burnt Mill Academy Trust - has contributed to the improvement in attendance.
She said: “Attendance is already better this year than previously. We have seen a definite improvement over the last two years.
“Of course, the more students are in school, the more they are learning, which helps with their grades. When they are out of school for a period of time, it can also be difficult to get back into friendship groups, so it’s good for their wellbeing to be in school.”
During the month, tutors have had attendance charts on display and a whole school approach has been taken.
Mrs Harrison said: “We have been pushing attendance in this way since the arrival of Mr Osborne.
“We have been getting everyone on board to take responsibility for attendance and not just the senior leadership team. It’s about asking students whether they are ok. It’s not about telling them off for poor attendance, but establishing the potential reason behind it. We are looking out for them.
“Students want to be in school more. It’s a calm and nice environment for them. We have a culture for learning and students want to be here and to do well.”
The school works closely with parents to help those struggling with attendance to get back to school.
Students with 100 per cent attendance are given reward points which can be swapped for trips in the summer.
Badges are given to students with 100 per cent attendance, to those with good attendance of 98 per cent and to those who are working hard to improve their attendance in school.
Mr Osborne said: “I appreciate the loyalty and dedication to the vision of outstanding outcomes of all types, including attendance, from Mrs Harrison and Mrs Ruffles.”