Tackling School Attendance Crisis National Conference


Course introduction

Implementing effective approaches based on the latest research and guidance

‘The Education Committee has proposed a range of measures to reverse the worrying trend of children’s absence from school. Whilst successive ministers have prioritised getting children back to school since the pandemic, the overall figures, and more concerningly for ‘persistent’ and ‘severe absence’, have failed to return to pre-pandemic levels. The most recent statistical release from the Department for Education (DfE), relating to the autumn term 2022/23, shows that persistent absence had risen to 24.2% of pupils.’ UK Parliament Education Committee 2023.

The Tackling School Absence Crisis National Conference will provide an update on the Government’s announcement regarding a series of measures designed to drive school attendance back to pre-pandemic levels. As well as discuss the steps schools and colleges can take to improve attendance for all. The day will pull together the latest and ongoing research, best practice, discussions, case studies and breakout sessions. Providing an essential conference delivering support, information, practical guidance and strategic thinking.

The specialist inputs will feature contributions from well-known experts in the field including Karen Ferguson, Matt Bromley and Victoria Franklin.

Download PDF Flyer here.

What we will cover throughout the day

  • Gain an update on the latest updates/changes in attendance policy guidance;

  • Understand the updated OFSTED inspection framework;

  • Analyse approaches which can influence attendance outcomes;

  • Implement effective strategies for persistent absence;

  • Unpick ways of managing the attendance of SEN/ALN pupils in line with the The Equality Act;

  • Implement a consistent approach based on the ‘Working together to improve school attendance guidance’;

  • Look at ways to meet statutory obligations and ensure external accountability;

  • How to use data to identify at risk pupils and meet the needs of different pupils;

  • Analyse the governments expectations in relation to data sharing;

  • Unpick ways to ensure all stakeholders work together to support attendance;

  • Discuss effective attendance interventions;

  • Create a strategic whole school attendance culture.

Target audience

Deputy and Assistant Headteachers
Education Welfare Officers
Heads of Year
Inclusion Managers
Pastoral Leaders
Family Engagement Officers Local Authorities

Trainers for this course

Karen Ferguson


Karen started teaching science at a mainstream secondary school in 2000, but moved into the SEND environment, working with children and parents to help them overcome their disabilities to... give them the skills to achieve their full potential. The majority of her training was on the job, which showed the need for training in this area.

She was appointed as a Specialist Leader in Education for Autism and this allowed her to disseminate good practice and deliver training in the field of SEND. Karen offers various SEND and condition specific training, including ASC, ADHD and Dyslexia. She has continued her own professional development throughout the years including a Masters in Education, Dyslexia, ADHD, Autism and PDA formal qualifications. She is currently working towards her Doctorate in Education.

Karen believes in a better understanding of SEND and complex needs can be achieved through information sharing and she is committed to ensure that education is developed and delivered to as many people as possible.

Matt Bromley
Matt Bromley

Matt Bromley is an education writer and advisor with over twenty years’ experience in teaching and leadership including as a secondary school headteacher and principal, FE college vice ...principal, and MAT director. Currently, Matt is a public speaker, trainer, school improvement lead, and a primary school governor. He also remains a practising teacher, working in secondary, FE and HE settings, and is the lead lecturer on a national ITT programme. Matt writes for various newspapers and magazines including SecEd, Headteacher Update, SEN Leader, TES, School Business Manager Magazine, Children & Young People Now, Attendance Matters Magazine, and School Inspection & Improvement Magazine. He sits on SecEd’s editorial board and co-hosts their award-winning podcast, as well as writes most of their monthly pull-out best practice supplements.

Victoria Franklin

Senior Education Welfare Consultant - CQSW ILM

Victoria Franklin is an Attendance Management Consultant working across all phases of education with a remit to raise whole school attendance. Victoria qualified from Bristol University a...s a social worker with a focus on education and has 30+ years of working in education settings including Local Authorities/Multi Academy Trusts and schools. Victoria has developed systems and procedures to help organisations become more effective in the management of attendance. (Including several Local Authorities holding authority wide specialist responsibility for school attendance improvement and data analysis.) The interface of where policy meets practice, and the use of data are particular areas of interest.

Victoria has developed and successfully implemented a strategy around coding to help schools understand and analyse the impact of coding decisions on attendance levels. Victoria is a freelance trainer and produces and delivers highly successful national training events for several training companies on attendance related issues and consistently achieves outstanding evaluations. She is a regular contributor to the Attendance Matters magazine.

Victoria is President of NASWE -National Association of Support workers in Education www.naswe.org.uk – a professional association promoting the welfare and school attendance of children since 1884. This involves meetings with the DFE to discuss policy and practice, being involved in consultation work for example working with Lord Soley regarding his proposed private members bill on regulations for Home Education and linking with other national organisations in areas of research, policy, and practice. Victoria is a member of INSA (International Network for School Attendance www.insa.network) and contributes to the INSA website as one of the UK (England) representatives.She took part as a presenter at the inaugural conference In Oslo in October 2019.

Other related interests include Chair of the Management Committee of Bristol Hospital Education service.

See what others have to say about us

Don’t just take our word for it, visit our social media pages for live feedback.

“Very professional and informative day. It has given me some fantastic ideas to raise my attendance.”

“Extremely informative and very well presented. All speakers were very engaging and given me lots of ideas to take back to school. I’m now even more confident in raising our school attendances.”

“Really good conference. Not only did we get a really comprehensive history of attendance issues, we came away understanding our statutory duties, Ofsted expectations – and crucially many ideas and practical advice that would be easy to implement but would have a very positive impact. I’m really glad I came and would highly recommend it to any Attendance lead.”


About the venue

Stay at home, get comfortable and enjoy our live interactive course via Zoom! You’ll receive the link a few days before the course date so you can get prepared (and excited) ahead of time.

Handy course logistics

  • The course will run via Zoom from 9:30 am – 3:00 pm, however, the trainer will be available 15 minutes before and after the course times to answer any questions.
  • You’ll receive mid-morning, lunch and afternoon breaks to re-energise. This course is designed to be interactive and inclusive. We welcome questions and discussions throughout and we want you to be comfortable and stress-free no matter where you join us from.
  • Your course pack includes handouts, an M&S voucher for food, a snack, a pen and a notepad – we’ll send this to you before the day. Please note this is only for UK-based participants, international attendees will receive the pack via email.
  • Additional links and information will be emailed to you before and during the conference.
  • Please Note – the cost is per person

In-House Training

In-House Training

We currently have no upcoming dates for this course - Please contact us for more information or if you would like this course delivered as in-house training.