Southern Brooks Community Partnerships

Blueprint for Success

In late 2016, Merlin Housing (now Bromford) and the South Gloucestershire Education Partnership commissioned Bristol University to carry out a research project. This project worked to understand the drivers behind broken week attendance in our local schools in three cluster areas of South Glucestershire. The report recommended best practise interventions to help tackle broken weeks.

Following the publication of the research Merlin Housing commissioned Southern Brooks Community Partnerships to coordinate pilot interventions in schools in South Gloucestershire and measure the impact that these interventions had on broken week attendance. These pilots found that:

Outcome 1:  Initiatives in schools which focus on dealing with the root causes of broken week attendance can have a positive impact on attendance in the long term and can make pupils feel more positive about school.

Outcome 2: Working in partnership with the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector can help schools work in innovative ways and bring in new shared resources to the education sector.

Outcome 3: Both schools and the VCSE sector are struggling for capacity so projects wanting to engage with them need to offer additional resources (both financial and time) to enable stronger engagement and bigger impacts.

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Based on this we have 3 recommendations for schools, VCSE organisations and funders:

Recommendation 1: Schools should use targeted interventions that tackle the root causes of attendance issues working closely with the VCSE sector as an effective way of reducing broken weeks.

Recommendation 2: Schools should reach out to VCSE organisations and work in partnership with them to overcome barriers of capacity and resource.

Recommendation 3: Projects seeking to support schools need to understand the challenges schools currently face in terms of budget and capacity. Projects should have long enough time frames to allow schools to work with VCSE sector to bring in additional resource or come with the financial resources necessary to support schools to deliver additional work.

For schools and organisation in South Gloucestershire interested in following up these recommendations please access the menus below which outline VSCE organisations in South Gloucestershire, which at the time of the pilot, had interventions for schools which help tackle the root causes of broken weeks. We encourage schools to get in touch with these organisations to see how they can work together to best support pupils and families for whom broken week attendance is an issue. Please note this is not an exhaustive list of VCSE organisations in South Gloucestershire which have the skills and resources to work with schools, so we encourage schools to also reach out to local organisations and partners with whom they have a relationship.