School uses text messaging as part of strategy to cut truancy

Mobile phones

smsenvelope.jpgA Canvey Island school is using SMS text messaging as part of its strategy to cut truancy rates.

Castle View School has implemented several measures, including a dedicated Attendance Officer working in the school, computerised lesson registration, and the sending of text messages to parents where pupils are in non-attendance.

Together, these measures have cut the truancy rate to just 0.5% — a significant improvement in the 900-strong school — and bucking the trend of higher truancy rates across England for 2006-7.

Of course, texting isn’t the single solution to these problems, but it has proved to be a deterrent to most pupils.

“We shall always have a degree of absence because of illness and unauthorised absence,” said Russell Sullivan, Headteacher at Castle View School. “However we are
confident that general truancy is identified and dealt with; we are delighted with the reduction in ‘real’ truancy – in a school of 900 pupils 0.5% represents a significant reduction, but a manageable number on which to focus. We all feel that the texting service has had a positive impact”.”

Text Message Server

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Andy Merrett
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