Two local schools in Brighton are hoping to tackle poor attendance issues in the suburb of Moulescoomb through a new approach of offering intensive, community-based counselling to students and their parent/carers.

Moulescoomb has some of the poorest attendance rates in Brighton and Hove coupled with low educational expectations, and a collaboration between Varndean School and Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA) hope to take a new look a this issue by seeing it not just a school issue, but a community one. Through funding person-centered counselling, it is hoped that the project will develop an understanding of the experiences of these students and their families and use this understanding them to support them back into education, raise their aspirations and boost their confidence.

Intervention sessions will be offered in school as alternative tutor sessions with a focus on a solution based approach to tackling poor attendance in addition to the offer of more formal counselling services. Community based drop in sessions and meetings are also proposed with either individual families or small groups to provide a forum for discussing and tackling external barriers to school attendance.

Findings from the project will help to inform attendance interventions in Varndean and BACA as well as shared through the City-wide Behaviour and attendance panel, and the City-wide Department for Education (DfE) attendance project.

Project Partners: Varndean School, BACA and Person centred counselling and psychotherapy

For further information please email our Innovation Fund Project Manager, Debra Vice-Holt