Message from our President:
I would like to thank you all for the faith you have placed in me to lead our association over the next year. I am truly humbled but honoured to take the mantle from Tony who has been our excellent President over the past year. I thank him for leading the Association through politically difficult times, when everything seems more important than the welfare and education of our children!
When I started working in the area of school attendance in 2003, in a challenging and at that time an under performing secondary school in Northampton, we had little or no social media, no county lines, and a knife incident in school made national news. We have now progressed to dealing with students who cannot get away from bullying due to social media, students whose anxiety levels are extremely high, some pupils are up all night playing ‘fortnight’, there are gangs, CSE and county line influences all over the country and the challenges and responsibility placed on schools is immense.
This Association is strategically important in supporting professionals working in improving attendance, CME, EHE, and inclusion allowing children to access the education they are entitled too. We will continue to work closely with the DfE, and other professional organisations both in this country and abroad to promote and influence good practice. As part of our NEC work I am looking forward to meeting with the DfE on the Children not in School consultation on 7thJune.
Please can I encourage you all to respond to this consultation by 24thJune.
I recently went to see my MP, on a similar matter, regarding the government’s lack of understanding and support for Lord Soley’s Local Authority Bill. Andrea Leadsom wrote to Damien Hinds regarding my concerns of how home education regulations work in reality in our authorities. We do have new guidelines and a further consultation which once again I would urge you all to respond too.
Can I also ask that if you know of any colleagues who are not here today or may not be members of this Association to invite them to attend the Autumn Conference and to join our association.
I commit that with the NEC YOUR Association will continue working for you and the work you carry out in your roles to support schools and their pupils.
Thank you once again for placing such great trust in me I hope I can return your faith by guiding the association to yet another very successful year.
Jane Ward. 21st May 2019
Members may be interested to know about the International Network for School Attendance. A new network for Academics and 'clinicians. Further information is available at