Attendance Support Team
The Role of the Attendance Support Team
The Attendance Support Team (AST) form part of the Telford & Wrekin Councils support services to schools and liaise where appropriate with school staff to help secure pupils’ good attendance.
Legal action to enforce attendance can only be taken by the LA.
The AST provide a service to schools and support legal intervention to improve school attendance. AST will normally liaise with the appropriate Senior Leader or the Nominated Attendance Person (NAP). However, attendance is the responsibility of the whole school. Schools should, therefore, consider the most effective ways of giving all staff access to advice and training delivered by AST to ensure an understanding of the LA’s responsibilities.
Education Welfare Officer (EWO) support is available through a ‘Traded - Service Level Agreement’ that schools can benefit from and the service is provided by AST. Some schools employ their own EWO. In these circumstances the EWO’s time-table is agreed with the school. It is advisable that schools should, therefore, have a clear policy on how and when a referral to the AST is made and both school and their EWO/NAP understand the procedures. In particular consideration should be given to:-
- the schools own procedures for dealing with absence should be agreed in discussion with their EWO before a referral is made to the AST,
- legal action can only be taken on unauthorised absences.
- Good communication and partnership working with schools/EWOs and AST