Barnsley Council is urging parents and carers to recognise the importance of good school attendance, including early years and nursery settings, in order for the borough’s young people to really reach their full potential.
Parents and carers are legally responsible for making sure that their child gets a full-time education, either in school or through other suitable arrangements. Once their child starts school, parents and carers are responsible for making sure that they attend regularly and are not taken out of school unnecessarily.
The latest available Barnsley school attendance figures are for the academic year 2016/16 and stand at 95.7 per cent, just below the national figure of 96 per cent.
Good habits start at a young age and good attendance in early years settings and at nursery has longer term benefits when it comes to establishing good routines and social skills.
Cllr Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson for People (Achieving Potential), said: “Barnsley has a range of fantastic early years provision, with some 96 per cent rated at good or outstanding based on the latest data released by Ofsted. This is above national rates which stand at 93 percent. By getting into the habit of good attendance from an early age, every Barnsley child can reach their full potential. We need parents to be aware that every day of learning matters, no matter what setting it’s in – from nursery to secondary school.”
Help and advice is available through the borough’s Family Centres, where play and stay sessions and early education sessions can help prepare children and their families for starting school.
Family Centres and the Families Information Service offer a timetable of groups and activities for all families and include services delivered by partner agencies including a full range of information, advice and guidance on wider services available in the community.
There is strong evidence to suggest that children who attend good quality childcare, where children’s learning and development is supported by qualified childcare providers, have an increased chance of settling well into school life, equipped with the social and emotional skills necessary to be school ready.
Support is available to families who are interested in accessing play groups, sessional childcare, childminders or full day-care through the Families Information Service via telephone on 0800 0345 340, email infoFIS@barnsley.gov.uk or search for early help on www.barnsley.gov.uk