Attendance Achievement: student-focused truancy prevention

Attendance Achievement: student-focused truancy prevention 07 January 2013

The Attendance Achievement Programme has been developed to address the root causes of truant behaviour. The project combines support to help overcome challenges with regular monitoring to keep students focused on reaching their goals.

Research shows a clear link between truancy and future involvement in the justice system; in fact studies by the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) have indicated that “truancy has been found to be related to substance abuse, gang activity, and involvement in criminal activities such as burglary, auto theft, and vandalism.” The correlation between disengagement in school and the increased risks of delinquency and anti-social behaviour can be seen firsthand in many of New York City’s low-income, high crime neighbourhoods – neighbourhoods where the Center for Court Innovation, the originator of the idea, has been operating innovative community-based delinquency prevention and intervention projects for over a decade.

The model includes family assessment, an individualised plan for each student, academic support, regular formal and informal contact with students throughout the school week, and bi-weekly progress meetings with the student, family members, and a justice system professional providing facilitation and oversight. The progress meetings provide an opportunity to keep everyone on track; staff address problems that have arisen and also give positive reinforcement for student achievements, helping students to set their own goals for improving not just their attendance but also their academic performance and overall behaviour.

Read more about this successful innovation