In the UK an estimated 63,000 pupils are missing school each day without permission. Government initiatives to reduce unauthorised absence mean that schools and Local Authorities are being set demanding targets to improve overall attendance rates. This presents quite a challenge for head teachers who have already spent resources on investigating absences which might have been overlooked a few years ago.
Castle View decided a combination of strategies would be the best approach – the appointment of a dedicated Attendance Officer working within the school, computerised lesson registration and a simple, reliable communication channel to parents so they could quickly be notified if their child did not arrive at school. They also wanted to incorporate a reliable instant message facility to remind parents of important events or deadlines.
Because of its popularity with users, texting parents seemed an obvious choice. Unlike phone calls, parents are able to directly receive a discrete text message wherever they are. Text messaging is also simple to integrate, simple to use and cost effective.