Real-time 'map' campaign
Square Peg has today launched a campaign to try and evidence the scale of the problem regarding barriers to school attendance. We're asking parents to input their postcode and choose from a dropdown menu of 6 options to best describe their child's attendance difficulties (they can do this for up to 3 children). This will automatically populate a Google map which will build a clearer picture of the situation, live on our website.
Although we know that there are over 771,000 persistent absentees, we don't know any more about why those children are absent, and there's a dangerous assumption that most of them are 'truanting'. One psychiatrist I spoke to recently thought that as many as 80% of these absences could be anxiety-related – we just don't know. The idea behind the campaign is to evidence the scale of the problem, and the length of time that some of those children have been out of school. It also allows parents to record a de-registration (there are currently no official statistics) or to say if their child has had problems in the past. Please feel free to share the link!