Absenteeism is skyrocketing. According to the latest figures relayed by British parliamentarians, the number of students with significant regular absences in UK schools has doubled since the pandemic.
According to the Commission of Deputies in charge of education, this is mainly due to mental health problems and the financial difficulties of families. Faced with this scourge, a school has decided to act, reports the BBC. Located in Folkestone, a coastal town in Kent a dozen miles from Dover, the establishment set up a minibus to pick up the children from their homes, because absenteeism was higher there to the national average.
Children absent due to a parent’s depression
Leo and Roxanne’s family are among the beneficiaries of this system, explains the BBC. Evicted from their home in the fall last year, they were relocated with their mother Kelsey to an apartment a 40-minute bus ride from their school. Kelsey then sank into a heavy depression: “It was hard, mentally and physically exhausting, I didn’t even want to leave my bed,” she says. I felt like I wasn’t good enough for my children. »
Her state of health then prevented her from taking her children to school in the morning, despite repeated calls from the establishment to find out the reasons for their absences. The school then decided to send a minibus to pick them up in the morning and bring them back in the evening while their mother tried to get treatment.
A desired experiment in other cities
Subsequently, the children were able to find a place in a nearest school from home and have not missed a day of cles since. “It made a huge difference,” insists Kelsey. “It gave me courage, just accepting their help. » A liaison officer was hired by the school group to manage issues related to attendance and to support students.
A report from the Parliamentary Education Committee also recommended that this type of system be expanded. Missing school can harm “children’s education, their development [et] to their future prospects,” underlined Robin Walker, head of the Parliamentary Commission. An experiment should take place in the coming months in other municipalities to encourage attendance.