Over the last 12 months, the NSMC has been working with the Hastings Opportunity Area (HOA) carrying out research with young people, parents and schools to tackle Hastings long standing issues around attendance.

This week we launched a positive social marketing campaign raising awareness of the importance of attendance. The campaign, which was designed in partnership with families and young people, focuses in particular on children missing school for minor illnesses or term time holidays. There is a clear link between poor attendance and low academic achievement, with a 2016 Department for Education Report finding that missing school even for just a few days per year can damage a pupil’s chances of gaining good GCSE’s. 

Our research showed that too many parents are still taking their children out of school for holidays during term times, in the belief that their children aren’t missing anything important. Our research amongst young people suggests they don’t want to fall behind with class work, miss out on end of term activities, or to be away from their friends. The adverts features the character Percy the Seagull as well as pupils from Hastings & St Leonards, and will include posters in all schools, various community settings and adverts on local station More Radio.