A police officer and council attendance officers will tour the borough in a branded vehicle stopping children of school age and/or their parents to ask why they aren’t in school and if necessary ask them to return to school.
Officers will also support children, young people and their families if they identify any concerns or issues, as part of our focus to help families as early as possible. The team can help to signpost families and young people to a range of support and advice as sometimes there can be other issues beyond truancy.
The focus will be on school children of all ages.
The project will run to the end of the current school year at which time it will be evaluated.
Issues around school absence and anti-social behaviour are also addressed directly in schools with the support of attendance officers.
PS Gary Iliff, from Walsall Police, said: ”These dedicated multi agency patrols will supplement the existing engagement in schools by local neighbourhood teams.
“There will now be greater support for families at the earliest opportunity to maximise educational opportunity in Walsall.”
Councillor Barbara Cassidy, portfolio holder for children’s services at Walsall Council, said: “An education is one of the most important elements to a successful future.
“To learn, grow and achieve, children and young people need to be in school.
“As well as the educational benefits, many children get other benefits from attending school such as interaction with their peers and a healthy meal.
“This is why it is important that we support young people and their families to understand the importance of attending school regularly.
“These regular patrols will also help us to reach out to any children and families who may need some extra support so that we can put them in touch with the right agencies to help them.
“If you are concerned about a child or young person or if you have any queries I would encourage you to contact the council’s attendance service on 01922 686233.”