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From school attendance difficulties to doing school differently!

Square Peg was set up in order to improve things for children with school-based anxiety and their families. This has developed to include all low or non-attenders, whether excluded on behaviour grounds, too anxious to attend, or disengaged with an education system which lacks relevance. 

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Since we set up as a social enterprise in 2019 (a CIC since April 2020), we have:

  • worked with MPs to write to the Secretary of State for Education, and raised Parliamentary questions around attendance

  • in partnership with NFIS raised £7,000 to kick-start a legal challenge around the current attendance policy and codes

  • taken part in a news story for Channel 4 in June 2019, with a live studio interview

  • assisted with a BBC news story and secured national coverage (BBC Breakfast, regional TV, local radio) in September 2019

  • received coverage on our legal challenge in The Observer, November 2019

  • attended the inaugural conference of INSA (the International Network for School Attendance) in Oslo in October 2019, and now sit on two INSA committees

  • built a network of 100+ contacts and attended regular meetings with the NEU and Children Commissioner’s office, amongst others

  • built a Twitter following of 850+ (June 2020)

  • become a CIC and expanded the team with the launch of a new website

  • in partnership with Independent Thinking, kick-started a ‘School Differently’ conversation to reach out to others who are also advocating for change or disrupting the current system

  • received the endorsement of six high-profile national organisations on a short letter to the media

  • secured a project on persistent absence and its correlation with SEND as one of the Children's Commissioner’s 10 strategic priorities for 2020/21

  • submitted to several DfE consultations, including the 'behaviour management strategies, in-school units and managed moves' consultation in August 2021. Our report can be accessed here

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