Attendance Plus are a forward-thinking children’s services consultancy working in partnership with education establishments and families to close the attainment gap through improved school attendance, reducing persistent absence, and family support.
Their business activities include attendance strategies of not just one individual but with a whole school approach, providing support and engagement programmes for the child, family and staff learning, advice, and resources about mental health for children and families.
Attendance Plus began as a fledging business inspired to help families, pupils and schools to raise attainment through improved school attendance. Attendance Plus recognised that data, and its strategic use, including the management and sharing of sensitive personal information, was crucial to achieving outstanding results. Securely exchanging data, managing it and protecting from unauthorised loss, damage or disclosure was paramount in their mind to ensure compliance with the GDPR and ensure continued respect for the privacy of families.
The business sought an online solution that would effectively streamline work processes, improve workflow, and reduce risk, eliminating paperwork and delays by automating the processes, enforcing that the right information is made available to the right people at the right time, reducing the risks of errors and increasing productivity.
Traditionally, this function is paper based and operates manually outside of an electronic case management system. This method has not permitted access of information to schools about children referred, therefore preventing issues about transparency in understanding case status and progression; schools have a duty of care to their children on roll and especially so in regard of children’s safeguarding. Children sometimes referred for attendance issues can escalate to referrals for children’s safeguarding, access to an electronic database to understand potential concerns is therefore an ideal product offer, promotes and supports collaboration and multi-agency operations in the interests of the child.
The Attendance Plus e-Portal provides schools with a with simple but secure, reliable and real time replication of the traditional paper trail.
Schools can log new cases, attach relevant documents and history about cases, and trigger the casework management process.
Attendance Caseworkers can complete assessments and record interactions, advice and guidance objectives, which automatically feed back to the schools ensuring everyone knows what is happening in real-time.
A complete history is maintained, and detailed reporting enabled providing easy visibility of repeat issues, and detailed analysis to identify the trends and triggers causing attendance issues. This facilitates a proactive approach to partnering with and supporting families in need, tackling attendance issues before they become a problem, rather than the traditional reactive penalisation of families and poor school attendance statistics.
In partnership with Xynics and one attendance management client, Attendance Plus were also able to put in place industry leading services for families in need during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Through a targeted online survey, valuable intelligence was gathered on how parents and pupils were coping with home schooling, allowing the school to offer support and resources where it was needed.
The business also started to distribute a regular weekly e-newsletter comprising of inspirational stories and useful educational and supportive content, designed to help parents and pupils cope with the unprecedented situation.
Working independently, with data around children and vulnerable families, I needed reliable independent advice and guidance about data protection and about keeping information (schools, children and families) safe and secure to international standards. Xynics true experts in managing data and complying with Privacy law, which provided reassurace for my business, especially in the context of GDPR.
In consultation, they have created a platform which enables Attendance Plus and schools to share information about children and families, with confidence, and ensuring information is transferred and managed in compliance with the GDPR via their Virtual Compliance Team and Remote DPO services.
Alexander Jones - Director