Robin Walker – 2021 Comments on Pupil Absence

The comments made by Robin Walker, the Schools Minister, on 26 November 2021.

It has been fantastic to see how through a combination of data, proactivity and a focus on children’s wellbeing, a school like the London Academy has driven up attendance and reduced persistent absence. Every lesson that we can prevent a child from missing is another building block to their life chances, development and wellbeing.

My department is channelling all its efforts to provide support and guidance to help schools, local authorities and multi-academy trusts take action to increase attendance, and I ask that everyone working with children does everything in their power to help break down any barriers to them attending school.

I recognise that Covid is still with us and causing some unavoidable absence – but this is all the more reason that we must all take action to address every avoidable reason for a child not being in school.