It is part of your role to support children you care for to attend school on a regular basis. Sometimes children don't want to go to school, or refuse to go to school. Children may experience suspensions from school or be out of school due to placement moves and the time it takes to re-enrol. It can be stressful when children don't attend school.
Keep your care team informed of any problems you are having. It might be necessary for the care team to meet with school staff to avoid further problems.
Research indicates that creating a home environment where education is valued and where carers assist children with their schoolwork is critically important. Academic achievement is improved when carers are involved and supportive.
Helping children go to school regularly
Showing interest in and supporting children’s education will encourage them to go to school every day. You can show interest by
- talking to children about school
- talking to children about what they want to do when they finish school and how this relates to school
- offer to help with homework
- help out at school - in the canteen or at school fundraisers
- attend parent-teacher interviews, school performances and other activities
If a child is sick for more than a few days, you can help by finding ways for them to keep in touch with school friends and teachers, perhaps by social media or email.
If you know a child is missing school, talk to your care team and the teacher. They can help you work out ways to encourage school attendance.
You might also want to try
- Exploring reasons for not wanting to go to school
- Listening to any fears and concerns about attending school
- Working with children to address the problem
Why it’s important for children to go to school regularly
- To make friends and fit in
- To improve their relationships with teachers and other staff
- To keep up with their school work
- They are more likely to return if they do miss some school
- They are less likey to engage in risky behaviour
- To have the best chance to reach their full potential