Swaffham school urged to act against ‘persistent absentees’

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Officials of a Swaffham school need to do more to tackle its minority of “persistent absentees”, according to an Ofsted inspector.

The warning was delivered following a monitoring visit to the Swaffham CE Infant and Nursery School, the findings of which were published on Monday.

But the school was deemed to be taking effective action to address its weaknesses.

The school was deemed to require improvement by Ofsted when a full inspection took place in February.

The latest assessment, which took place last month, was the second monitoring inspection to be made since then.

In a letter to the school’s headteacher, Marion Link, inspector Deborah Pargeter said the school was taking action to address the areas required for it to achieve a good rating in the future.

But, despite a slight improvement and the introduction of fixed penalties for non-attendance, she said overall attendance levels remained too low.

The inspector praised Mrs Link for being “proactive” in tackling the issue.

But she added: “The school should continue to take action to improve the overall attendance of all pupils by tackling the very poor attendance of a small number of persistent absentees.”

The letter highlighted a three-year trend of improvement shown in newly published pupil performance data and the school’s ambition for pupil attainment to exceed national standards for reading, writing and maths by the end of the current academic year.

The inspector also praised what she called the “robust monitoring system” that has now been put in place to track the quality of teaching and learning.