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Pupils help devise a campaign about school attendance


CHILDREN across the city have contributed to a campaign about school attendance which was launched this week at an annual conference. 

Pupils from schools including City of Derby Academy, Chellaston Academy, Hardwick Primary and Bishop Lonsdale Church of England School worked on the campaign about the positive reasons for attending school.

It is part of Department for Education Priority Education Investment Area programme aiming to improve attendance, which is being run locally by Derby County Community Trust and Derby City Council.

The campaign, which features the words and voices of young people, was launched in front of 300 delegates from 95 Derby schools at the third annual Inclusion Conference, held at Pride Park Stadium.

Derby County Community Trust, inclusion partnership manager,Jo Wilkinson said: “We are really excited about our attendance campaign going live and we have a toolkit for schools to use themselves.

“The messaging is very positive – focussing on why school is brilliant and what students feel they gain by being in school, which was why speaking to pupils themselves was so important.

“We have produced short, animated clips designed to be relevant to all schools across the city including voiceovers from our students, as well as posters that support the animations and the whole campaign will run during the next academic year.”

The conference was organised by the city’s Inclusion Partnership which is a collaboration including Derby County Community Trust, Derby City Council, Primary Strategy Group and Derby Secondary Heads Group.

It was the third annual event; at the first Inclusion Conference in 2022 and since then more than 100 schools in Derby have signed the Inclusion Charter committing to five key principles.

Keynote speaker was Dave Keeling from Laughology and attendance workshops were given from leading educational experts including Wayne Harris, Richard Gerver and Adele Bates. 

There was also a marketplace with more than 50 organisations and schools sharing their solutions and approaches to supporting attendance.

Jo added: “It was great to have so many people, who genuinely care about school attendance and inclusion, all under one roof, working together to make sure Derby children are accessing the education that can help change their lives.

“We hope that by sending out the message that if you miss school you will miss out will help encourage children themselves to think twice about being out of the classroom.”

“We hope to encourage children to attend school by by sending out the message that ‘school means more’. Whilst learning is a key part of school life, it’s also brilliant in so many other ways including friendships, new experiences, creating memories and having fun.”


For further information please contact Sarah Newton at Penguin PR on 07974 502 764 or email

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