New term fresh start - Cardiff Council launches latest school attendance drive



Let's get attendance back on track is the message from Cardiff Council, as a new drive is launchedwhich aims to make sure all children and young people have the best chance of achieving, by improving school attendance standards.

In partnership with schools and to coincide with the start of the new school term, the campaign is now in its second academic year and highlights that everyday matters and that lost days of learning all add up. The purpose is to remind families, that with a new term comes a fresh start and that regular school attendance is an important part in helping learners to achieve more and improve attainment during their school lives and beyond.

Priorto schools closing in March 2020 due to COVID-19, a statutory report to Welsh Government showed primary school attendance in Cardiff was at 94.8% and secondary school attendance was at 93.2%.Cardiff's significant progress in improving attendance across schools had been consistently good for a number of years.


However, due to the significant disruption experienced by pupils and their schools during the pandemic, attendance levels dropped and still many learners missing days regularly.


This decrease is a familiar picture which continues to be replicated across Wales, with a number of contributing factors identified as reasons for poor attendance including;


-         a greater number of pupils experiencing anxiety as a barrier to attending school and for those with previous mental health conditions, an exasperated situation due to lock downs which in some cases has resultedin more serious health problems.

-         families with a poor attitude to attendance have become further entrenched and often a more casual approach to attendance from other families has emerged.

-         More challenging behaviours has led to an increase in exclusions and permanent exclusions

-         illness related absences and many parents feeling overly cautious about sending their children to school.


Cardiff Council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Sarah Merry said: Following the launch of a city-wide attendance campaign in February this year, early indications show that the current picturehas seen some improvements on last year,butthere is still work to do.

"Good attendance is crucial in order for children and young people to have the best chances of achieving and schools, pupils and their families are encouraged to work together to improve school attendance across all age groups.

"There is a range of specialist support in place so that pupils and their families can access help and advice on all matters relating to school attendance.

From the beginning of December 2022, Welsh Government reinstatedFixed Penalty Notices for non-school attendance.

Every school has access to a School Attendance Officer and an allocated Education Welfare Officer who can help and support any difficulties with a child's attendance at school.

For more information

Cardiff Family Advice and Support also offers a range of information, advice and assistance for children, young people and their familiesCardiff Family Gateway - Cardiff Family Advice and Support : Cardiff Family Advice and Support (