A COUNCIL has launched a campaign to highlight the importance of school attendance in students.

Neath Port Talbot Council has launched the campaign called Miss School, Miss Out to raise awareness of the benefits of school attendance and provide information for how families can prevent absences and highlight the support available to parents.

The council states that regular attendance at primary and secondary schools is vital for children to develop essential life skills, social abilities, friendships, team values and understanding potential career pathways.

In the 2022/23 academic year, 82 per cent of pupils in the county who had an attendance of 95 per cent or more achieved a C grade or above in maths and English at GCSE level, which backed up research that high attendance rates is linked to higher academic achievement.

Cllr Nia Jenkins, the council’s cabinet member for education and early years, said: “The Miss School, Miss Out campaign has been launched to coincide with when we start to see a drop in attendance rates during the school year.

“Regular attendance and punctuality are essential for children and young people to make the most out of their time at school. It’s not just about what they learn in the classroom, but the endless extracurricular activities that are available to help develop skills such as teamwork, creativity and self-confidence.

“We understand that some pupils may face challenges, and we want to assure families that help is available. If your child is struggling with school attendance, please contact your school for help and advice in the first instance.”

The council offers a dedicated education welfare service which helps parents and guardians who are facing challenges with getting their children to attend school regularly. It provides advice and support to parents of children of a compulsory school-age and aims to promote consistent attendance.

The campaign also emphasises the role of parents and guardians in preventing school absences, encouraging families to establish a consistent routing from an early age, explain the benefits of good attendance and punctuality, and engage actively in their child’s education by participating in school activities and discussing school work.

More information can be found at www.npt.gov.uk/school-attendance.