Tradewind Recruitment Supports Government Crackdown on Primary School Absence

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Charlie Taylor, the U.K. Government's Expert Adviser on Behaviour, recently urged schools to actively promote student attendance and recognise patterns of absenteeism. Tradewind Recruitment's teachers and support staff do their part in helping to improve attendance in schools.

Premier Provider of Teachers and School Support Staff

School improvement measures, like Taylor’s recommendations for addressing school attendance problems, are among the duties and responsibilities that Tradewind’s pool of skilled and experienced teachers and teaching assistants are tasked to uphold.

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According to statistics released by the Department for Education for the 2010/11 school year, almost 400,000 pupils miss 15% of schooling each year—that's the equivalent of taking a whole month off from school. In answer to Charlie Taylor's call to prevent this habit of absenteeism from following children as they move up through the school system, Tradewind Recruitment, the premier provider of teachers and support staff to schools, colleges, and nurseries, vows to help their client schools support government initiatives to improve student attendance. As a major provider of London teaching jobs, the recruitment agency tasks its highly qualified supply teachers to take the Government’s education efforts to heart and act with the best interests of the student population in mind.

Recent figures have shown that from primary school onwards, the number of children who are persistently absent increases, especially towards the final years of secondary school. Once the children reach their mid-teens, parents and school staff find it increasingly difficult to get them to attend their classes.

Poor attendance patterns leave students at a significant learning disadvantage, especially since most of the school work missed during the time they are away are never made up. The Department’s absence data for the 2009/10 school year also shows clear evidence that poor attendance and low levels of achievement are connected: Of students who miss between 10% and 20% of their school days, only 35% are able to achieve five or more General Certificates of Secondary Education (the main qualification taken by 14- to 16-year-olds) at grades A* to C, including English and math. This is a strikingly poor performance compared to pupils who attend 95% of school days—73% of them are able to achieve the same feat.

Taylor calls on all primary schools to review their attendance records and identify the students who are developing recognisable patterns of absence without valid reasons as well as extended term-time holidays. "The earlier schools address poor attendance patterns, the less likely it is that they will become a long-term issue. The best primary schools realise this and take a rigorous approach to poor attendance from the very start of school life."

Tradewind Recruitment, one of the primary U.K. teaching agencies recently re-accredited with the Department for Education's Quality Mark for the eighth consecutive year, continues to achieve the highest possible standard of recruitment and vetting of supply teachers who make an increasingly important contribution to the smooth running of schools. Under the Quality Mark, the recruitment agency observes a strict standard of continually monitoring the performance of their hired teachers, ensuring that legal obligations are observed, and staying at the forefront of changes in the teaching sector.

School improvement measures, like Taylor’s recommendations for addressing school attendance problems, are important responsibilities of school administration and support staff alike, and are therefore among the duties and responsibilities that Tradewind’s pool of skilled and experienced teachers and teaching assistants are tasked to uphold. “(The Quality Mark's) recognition of Tradewind’s high standards of recruitment and vetting...gives increased confidence to our schools that our standards are of the highest in the industry,” says Kati Pilkington, Tradewind Recruitment's Operations Director.

The Government has accepted Taylor's recommendations of publishing attendance data along with local and national averages, primary schools' analyses of their data and identification of students with absence patterns, and schools supporting parents in nursery and reception who are unable to get their children to attend classes. Tradewind Recruitment’s teaching staff will contribute to promoting these positive changes for their clients, which include mainstream state schools and independent schools in London and the Home Counties, as well as Birmingham and the West Midlands, and Manchester and the North West.

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Justin James
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