More support for children on move

Blackpool Town Hall and (below) council leader Simon Blackburn.
Blackpool Town Hall and (below) council leader Simon Blackburn.
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Education bosses today vowed to look at whether more support can be given to children to combat the impact changing school can have on their performance.

A national report has found youngsters in Blackpool are around 30 per cent more likely to move schools during term time than the national average.

And the report by think tank RSA, titled Between the Cracks, says when compared to their peers, the attainment of pupils who move school in-year is markedly lower.

In Blackpool 6.6 per cent of school admissions in 2011/12 were non-standard – during term time – compared to the national average of 4.9 per cent.

While, in the same year, in Lancashire 4.3 per cent of school admissions were non-standard.

Now Blackpool education chiefs have said they are looking into more ways to support children who move schools during term time.

Coun Sarah Riding, cabinet member for education for Blackpool Council, said: “We are very aware of the detrimental effect that changing schools can have on some children, and work closely with all of our schools to try to keep that disruption to a minimum.

“It’s not just about the impact that it has on classes and exams, but the changes to children’s social interactions is equally important.

“By moving schools, pupils sometimes have to move away from their friends and from settled environments.

“That can be a difficult period and we make sure that all of our teachers are able to keep an eye on children who are struggling to settle in following a move and support them where needed.

“However, this is an interesting piece of research and I will be asking council officers to take a closer look as to whether there is more that we can do to support young people who have moved during the school term.”

Meanwhile, in Fylde and Wyre children are less likely to be moving schools mid-term than in Blackpool.

A Lancashire County Council spokesman said: “As the report makes clear, Lancashire does not have a significant issue with non-standard admissions, however our schools do work hard to ensure that children who move during the year make as smooth a transition as possible.”

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