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Our Approach

#164 Improving Attendance through an Engagement Coach – The Hewett Academy

What did we do?

Support for Year 9 & 10 students with a focus on improving attendance.

When looking at the students’ progress, we can see that there have been students who have improved since working with me and students whose truanting has improved, and I have been helping them to attend more lessons.

Engagement Coach

Summary of impact

I have had successful one to one and group sessions with students, mainly around attendance. I put together a session plan where I print off the student’s timetable and have a traffic light system of how they feel about their lessons – green coloured lessons they enjoy, orange they do not mind and red they are not happy with. This helps the students to see how they really view school and if there is a lot of red in their timetable, we put a plan together to review in 2 weeks and see if we can change more of the timetable to orange/green. There were a group of girls who were consistent truants and after doing this task their attendance improved which was a great result!

Another successful element has been with students who are struggling with how to study and doing a study skills session. I print off a timetable for them to take home and they allocate times to do studying at home, we then schedule another meeting to review this to see if it works or if they study timetable needs amending. This helps students gain more confidence with subjects which then means they are happier to attend the lesson and not truant or miss school.

We have also done an activity where the students guess the percentage of how many lessons they think they will attend, I then work with attendance to see how much they actually attended. This works well to be a realisation to students who sometimes deceive themselves to believe they are attending more lessons than they actually are. After doing this there have been students who have then had an increase in their attendance to the lessons they were less keen to attend.

Steps taken

I have been working with students who are complete non attendees at school, who have had trauma in the past and are currently not entering education at all and I am working to get them back into mainstream school.

I also help with students who struggle with mainstream school and support them at Alternative Provisions which they attend a few days a week. I have visited the alternative provisions on multiple occasions to check in on the students and report back on their progress. It is good for them to see a face from school and make sure they are still comfortable coming to school on the other days.

I have also supported students within lessons where it has been a lesson that they have not attended for some time and struggle to go to this lesson. I have helped them go to the lesson when it has been a long period since they have been and supported within that lesson. This has helped them then get confidence to attend the lesson again and been able to do this without additional help.

What would we do differently

Speaking to the attendance team works well to identify students who need extra support because the team have all the details of lessons that students have missed so they are a great department to work with regarding engagement and students who require one to one / group work support, as well as the Pastoral Department.

I believe in the relational approach and being kind and understanding with the students.

I have found that being kind and understanding with the students has helped me to build rapport. When there is a high level of trust students are more open about any issues they have and are more inclined to listen when they are comfortable and at ease around you.


Costs for the full-time salary of an Engagement Coach (Higher Level TA scale) were covered by the Norwich Opportunity Area for 2021-22.

See how others have implemented this Big Idea

Addressing truancy and supporting behaviour with an Engagement Coach - City Academy Norwich


Norwich Opportunity Area Team