Thousands of children missing out on schooling with the real cost to the taxpayer unknown.
A recent study by Minerva's Virtual Academy (MVA) has found that over 890,000 children in England suffer from persistent absenteeism from traditional schools. This issue affects a wide range of students, from those with mental health difficulties to those with complex additional needs.
To address this problem, MVA has launched the "Class of 10,000" campaign in partnership with education charity Square Peg, with the goal of getting 10,000 children from each UK local authority back into learning.
However, local authorities are often hesitant to utilise online education as an alternative. The government has recently issued new guidance stating that remote learning should only be considered as a "last resort" and should not be viewed as an equal alternative to attendance in school. Nevertheless, online schooling can be a viable option for many children who face barriers to attending school or those who thrive outside of a traditional school environment.
MVA's Class of 10,000 campaign is an opportunity to address persistent absenteeism and help children who are currently missing out on full-time education. Online schools can provide a solution for children who need more flexibility or support than traditional schools can offer. It's time for local authorities and the government to recognise the value of online education in addressing these issues.
So far, the campaign has attracted coverage on/in:
Campaign is working towards getting more children learning - Mid Wales Journal - 21/04/2023
Campaign is working towards getting more children learning - South Shropshire Journal - 21/04/2023
Thousands 'miss out on schooling' - Telford Journal - 20/04/2023
Thousands 'miss out on schooling' - Shrewsbury Chronicle - 20/04/2023
Campaign targets 10,000 children for online classrooms - Shropshire Star - 15/04/2023
Thousands of children in Buckinghamshire are regularly missing school, new data shows - Bucks Herald (Web) - 12/04/2023
Thousands of Coventry children regularly miss school, research reveals - Coventry Telegraph - 04/04/2023
'Ghost children' cost city council over £1 million - The Herald (Plymouth) - 03/04/2023
Revealed: How much Herefordshire Council has picked up in school truancy fines - Hereford Times (Web) - 01/04/2023
More than 5,000 Plymouth children are regularly skipping school - Plymouth Herald (Web) - 31/03/2023
30,000 missing school regularly - Newcastle Journal - 29/03/2023
Thousands of schoolchildren regularly absent - Evening Chronicle (Newcastle Upon Tyne) - 29/03/2023
23/03/2023 - Radio 5 Live - MVA Parent speaks to Adrian Chiles (07.31 mins)
Here is a selection of the printed articles: