New Attendance Bus to deal with ‘skivers’ at Poole’s Magna Academy

Bournemouth Echo: setting standards: Magna Academy senior vice principal Jonathan Heap, left, with senior student support manager Courtney Fawcett setting standards: Magna Academy senior vice principal Jonathan Heap, left, with senior student support manager Courtney Fawcett

SKIVING is a thing of the past for pupils of Poole’s Magna Academy.

Truants who fancy a day off will get a rude awakening when the school’s new Attendance Bus pulls up outside their homes.

The initiative is the brainchild of new senior vice principal Jonathan Heap who is determined to ensure attendance is as high as possible at the Canford Heath Academy.

He’s starting with Year 11 as the countdown to GCSEs begins but plans to eventually use the converted school minibus across all year groups.

Members of Magna Academy staff, possibly accompanied by an educational welfare officer and a local police community support officer, will visit the homes of students causing attendance concerns.

The aim is to make sure they do not take unnecessary days off and therefore improve their performance in the classroom.

Any student with an attendance level of less than 85 per cent is classified as a persistent absentee.

Mr Heap, who ran a similar operation in his previous job, said: “Sometimes it is difficult for parents to make sure their children go to school so this offers them a helping hand.

“We do not have an issue with attendance across the whole academy but we want to do everything we can to make sure that every student is encouraged to attend regularly” he said.

“We have high aspirations for all of our students and we have a duty to try all we can to ensure students are not missing their education.”

Educational research shows that students who take 15 days or more off school each year have just a four in 10 chance of gaining five or more good GCSEs. Of those who are off for less than seven days, 87 per cent get five good passes.

Comments (17)

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3:09pm Tue 18 Feb 14

muscliffman says...

An excellent way for bad parents and kids to save money, no need to catch and pay for the bus, no need to get the car out, no need to walk in the rain, just sit back at home making absolutely no effort and the school will provide door to door free transport.

Failure to be responsible rewarded once again - and they wonder why it's all going so badly wrong in UK education!
An excellent way for bad parents and kids to save money, no need to catch and pay for the bus, no need to get the car out, no need to walk in the rain, just sit back at home making absolutely no effort and the school will provide door to door free transport. Failure to be responsible rewarded once again - and they wonder why it's all going so badly wrong in UK education! muscliffman

3:15pm Tue 18 Feb 14

whataboutthat says...

This stinks as a concept and is flawed - based as it is on coercion. Slaves are unwilling - they break the tools!
This stinks as a concept and is flawed - based as it is on coercion. Slaves are unwilling - they break the tools! whataboutthat

3:21pm Tue 18 Feb 14

jafcb1988 says...

Muscliff man is the most pessimistic person on the planet. Find a hobby
Muscliff man is the most pessimistic person on the planet. Find a hobby jafcb1988

3:32pm Tue 18 Feb 14

muscliffman says...

jafcb1988 wrote:
Muscliff man is the most pessimistic person on the planet. Find a hobby
Unfortunately I think the word you mean is 'realistic' not pessimistic - and I wish it wasn't!
[quote][p][bold]jafcb1988[/bold] wrote: Muscliff man is the most pessimistic person on the planet. Find a hobby[/p][/quote]Unfortunately I think the word you mean is 'realistic' not pessimistic - and I wish it wasn't! muscliffman

4:32pm Tue 18 Feb 14

BIGTONE says...

When we were wagging we had the wagg man chasing us.
When we were wagging we had the wagg man chasing us. BIGTONE

5:46pm Tue 18 Feb 14

sea poole says...

Anything to do with public sector and muscliffman is over it like a rash. Wonder if he actually finds ANYTHING positive about the public sector...guess not!
Anything to do with public sector and muscliffman is over it like a rash. Wonder if he actually finds ANYTHING positive about the public sector...guess not! sea poole

7:47pm Tue 18 Feb 14

phonehome says...

I don't know Muscliffman but he speaks a lot of sense on this issue.
Most well brought-up kids realise how important education is to their future.
Unfortunately there is a minority of parents/households who couldn't care less. The kids wont find out what they have missed until it is too late. It is not their fault, they need help in this way.
I don't know Muscliffman but he speaks a lot of sense on this issue. Most well brought-up kids realise how important education is to their future. Unfortunately there is a minority of parents/households who couldn't care less. The kids wont find out what they have missed until it is too late. It is not their fault, they need help in this way. phonehome

8:32pm Tue 18 Feb 14

kalebmoledirt says...

BIGTONE wrote:
When we were wagging we had the wagg man chasing us.
Was that a Catholic school?
[quote][p][bold]BIGTONE[/bold] wrote: When we were wagging we had the wagg man chasing us.[/p][/quote]Was that a Catholic school? kalebmoledirt

8:41pm Tue 18 Feb 14

sea poole says...

phonehome- what sense is muscliffman talking? Guess you're both related!
phonehome- what sense is muscliffman talking? Guess you're both related! sea poole

8:44pm Tue 18 Feb 14

kalebmoledirt says...

We used to have a bloke come round on a bike wearing a long earing aid beige rain coat and Trilby,and still look less intimidating that these 2 wannabe law enforcers.grow up and stick to passive persuasion,I wouldn't look forward to being in the same post code as you let the same school
We used to have a bloke come round on a bike wearing a long earing aid beige rain coat and Trilby,and still look less intimidating that these 2 wannabe law enforcers.grow up and stick to passive persuasion,I wouldn't look forward to being in the same post code as you let the same school kalebmoledirt

10:53pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Bob49 says...

muscliffman wrote:
An excellent way for bad parents and kids to save money, no need to catch and pay for the bus, no need to get the car out, no need to walk in the rain, just sit back at home making absolutely no effort and the school will provide door to door free transport.

Failure to be responsible rewarded once again - and they wonder why it's all going so badly wrong in UK education!
That is just silly as well you know, as all it does is over excite the not too bright who believe that answers to problems should be as simple as they are.

I doubt this bus will pick up habitual trauntees, however it will allow the school and others to co-ordinate their efforts in trying to identify why the child is not going to school.

Odd how those working within various industries seem to know what is best when it comes to resolving problems ....... or should I say ishooooooooooooos.
[quote][p][bold]muscliffman[/bold] wrote: An excellent way for bad parents and kids to save money, no need to catch and pay for the bus, no need to get the car out, no need to walk in the rain, just sit back at home making absolutely no effort and the school will provide door to door free transport. Failure to be responsible rewarded once again - and they wonder why it's all going so badly wrong in UK education![/p][/quote]That is just silly as well you know, as all it does is over excite the not too bright who believe that answers to problems should be as simple as they are. I doubt this bus will pick up habitual trauntees, however it will allow the school and others to co-ordinate their efforts in trying to identify why the child is not going to school. Odd how those working within various industries seem to know what is best when it comes to resolving problems ....... or should I say ishooooooooooooos. Bob49

6:21am Wed 19 Feb 14

we-shall-see says...

Perhaps they are expecting all kids who bunk off to actually be at home, rather than round a mate's or hanging out at the local High Street ?

Certainly, those sort of kids and their parents couldn't care less about the intimidation factor of having a bus parked outside the house for the neighbours to see ...... These people need to get real and stop pandering to feckless kids and their families and hit them in the ONLY place it hurts - in the pocket with heavy fines or send the kids to reform school and have done with it .........
Perhaps they are expecting all kids who bunk off to actually be at home, rather than round a mate's or hanging out at the local High Street ? Certainly, those sort of kids and their parents couldn't care less about the intimidation factor of having a bus parked outside the house for the neighbours to see ...... These people need to get real and stop pandering to feckless kids and their families and hit them in the ONLY place it hurts - in the pocket with heavy fines or send the kids to reform school and have done with it ......... we-shall-see

8:17am Wed 19 Feb 14

sammmymac says...

What a great incentive. ...you get a lie in then a free bus ride to school. Saves getting up earlier and cycling or walking in the rain or paying for the bus. I'm sure it it'll be the new mist popular way to get to school and they'll have a lot of "customers". What incentive does this give all the pupils with good attendance to continue getting up early and battling the weather ir paying for the bus when these offenders get free door to door service, no doubt only to disrupt others once they're there.
What a great incentive. ...you get a lie in then a free bus ride to school. Saves getting up earlier and cycling or walking in the rain or paying for the bus. I'm sure it it'll be the new mist popular way to get to school and they'll have a lot of "customers". What incentive does this give all the pupils with good attendance to continue getting up early and battling the weather ir paying for the bus when these offenders get free door to door service, no doubt only to disrupt others once they're there. sammmymac

12:53pm Wed 19 Feb 14

speedy231278 says...

An excellent waste of time and resources, just like the 'Safe Bus' for drunks at Horseshoe Common (maybe that will go now the council are trying to ramp up the value of their latest redeveloped car park?).

Presumably the parents of truants will be fined in order to pay for this? If people bothered to teach their kids a bit of discipline, maybe they'd actually go to school in the first place?
An excellent waste of time and resources, just like the 'Safe Bus' for drunks at Horseshoe Common (maybe that will go now the council are trying to ramp up the value of their latest redeveloped car park?). Presumably the parents of truants will be fined in order to pay for this? If people bothered to teach their kids a bit of discipline, maybe they'd actually go to school in the first place? speedy231278

2:10pm Wed 19 Feb 14

seaviews says...

Its the parents that should be picked up and made to wait at school until the end of the day. That would ensure their parenting skills improved.
Its the parents that should be picked up and made to wait at school until the end of the day. That would ensure their parenting skills improved. seaviews

6:51pm Wed 19 Feb 14

ashleycross says...

Lets hope it doesn't drive children into the homes of paedophiles who are always willing to "shelter" truants. If it shows children they are cared for by going out to look for them this is a good thing. Hopefully it will be combined with stop smoking programs as most truants are just desperate for a cigarette.
Lets hope it doesn't drive children into the homes of paedophiles who are always willing to "shelter" truants. If it shows children they are cared for by going out to look for them this is a good thing. Hopefully it will be combined with stop smoking programs as most truants are just desperate for a cigarette. ashleycross

4:33pm Mon 24 Feb 14

ToniandJeff says...

Think Magna Academy need to use their attendance bus on their teachers as they never seem to bother to turn up !!
Think Magna Academy need to use their attendance bus on their teachers as they never seem to bother to turn up !! ToniandJeff

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