Wednesday, 14 January 2009

My colleague Jenny Marshall, Performance Management Officer in our Performance Management and Information team sent me some great news...

"Good morning Chris, I though you would like to see this which will be published today on the Cabinet Office website. It is great that our persistent absence research has been identified as good practice in reaching customer groups. It also good to know we have been identified as pioneers in our aim to provide the best possible service for our customers. Jenny"

This is the case study from 'CUSTOMER MATTERS:News and Insight from the Front Line, a Cabinet Office publication...
"Education Leeds is a non profit company owned by Leeds CityCouncil. Leeds is in the bottom quartile of local authorities in termsof persistent absence from secondary schools and like many other organisations it has struggled to gain meaningful insight into hard to reach groups on specific issues which affect their lives. To find out more about the issues for children and young people and their parents/carers regarding persistent absence and what could be effective in reducing this absence, Education Leeds consulted a wide range of professionals through interviews and questionnaires and listened to children, young people, parents and carers through focus groups and semi-structured interviews. Interviews were also undertaken with key partner agencies in order to help identify their potential contribution towards reducing persistent absence and with a view to developing a more multi-agency approach to tackling this issue. Visits to other local authorities were undertaken in order to identify good practice. A key finding from the research was that both parents/carers and young people did not see the relevance of learning and achieving. As a result, Education Leeds is now looking at different ways of ensuring that learning is relevant and engaging for students who may not currently respond well to existing teaching methods. The research also highlighted the need for additional input for young carers, including extra support and practical measures such as allowing access to a phone while at school. This research has raised the profile of persistent absence and its relationship to other complex issues affecting children and their families with other Childrens’ Services colleagues, leading to a better multi agency approach where persistent absence is seen as a symptom of
other problems."

It is great to see this work recognised and celebrated by colleagues at the Cabinet Office.

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