Over the last year the Youth Forum have been looking at school attendance on behalf of the Somerset Safeguarding Children Partnership (SSCP).
At the first session the group looked at existing research into poor school attendance at a county and national level. Via this research it became clear to the group, that young people are rarely asked why they don’t enjoy school or why they might not attend – this became the basis for the project.
Youth Forum members discussed the best way to collect young people’s views on school attendance, opting to create a survey. During the session the group considered what the most appropriate school attendance questions were to ask of other young people. Once completed the survey was then shared by Youth Forum members with friends and classmates.
Ninety-six pupils from across Somerset completed the survey and the results were analysed and presented to the SSCP and then shared further at the Inclusion Summit.
The results demonstrated that whilst young people generally agree that getting a good education is important (74% said a good education is a priority), they attend school because they have to (54%) rather than because they enjoy it (17%).
Feedback showed that young people considered:
- Teachers and other people were the main barriers to young people’s enjoyment of school.
- Physical and mental health were the main reasons why young people have persistent absence from school.
The presentation has led to Somerset educationalists pledging to listen more closely to the voices of school pupils.