Council works with families to improve school attendance in Paulsgrove

From left, Cllr Neill Young, cabinet member for edication and children services, Rod McLean, area development worker, James Hill, housing and property services and Sharon George, lead positive family futures ''Picture: Sarah Standing (151569-4201)
From left, Cllr Neill Young, cabinet member for edication and children services, Rod McLean, area development worker, James Hill, housing and property services and Sharon George, lead positive family futures ''Picture: Sarah Standing (151569-4201)

Pupils in Fareham and Gosport to create posters to promote improving air quality

  • Project looks to help troubled families get children to school
  • Team look at issues that affect pupil attendance
  • Paulsgrove is key target area for local authority
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A PROJECT has been launched to help pupils with poor attendance to get back into school.

The Positive Family Futures project is now in its second academic year and it involves people working with families in the Paulsgrove area to look at why youngsters might not be attending school regularly.

We want to get to the fabric of the community to see where these issues are and how we can help those families around school attendance

Councillor Neill Young

Portsmouth City Council was awarded £90,000 by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The money has been used to identify at risk families at an early stage and to help them to become more independent and resilient.

It comes as figures recently published show that attendance is still below the national average, with 6.4 per cent of children off secondary school over the academic year, compared with 5.2 per cent nationally, in 2013/14.

Sharon George is leading the project. She said: ‘We can work with the school to understand what it might be about for the young person so we can understand all the circumstances and work with the families and the child to make sure that attending school is a priority.

‘It’s so they can be set up to go on to have a pattern of attendance.’

The project looks at reasons why youngsters might be missing school.

King Richard School in Paulsgrove has been working alongside the team.

Councillor Neill Young is in charge of children and education at the council. He said: ‘It’s reflected across the city. Often Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 results are good.

‘But when you look at GCSE you see a different picture.

‘We need to understand how we can tackle some of these issues. Some pupils aren’t getting the qualifications we hoped they would get. It follows that kind of pattern.

‘Secondary school is a very different way of learning for some of our youngsters. It requires young people to take a little bit more ownership of their education.

‘We want to get to the fabric of the community to see where these issues are and how we can help those families around school attendance.’