The Desire to Learn: Making Interventions work and Re-Engaging Students

Course Code:


Following a period of absence, including suspension or exclusion, the ways that schools re-integrate and re-engage students in learning is vital for their future success. This new course will give senior pastoral leaders an understanding of the growing challenges around attendance that schools up and down the country are facing and how they can look to support students to thrive on their return.

The day will cover all elements of attendance, from missing out due to poor behaviour, spotting concerning patterns early, to supporting students who are ‘school refusers’, helping students with a successful return to school. Delegates will take away a wide range of practical tools and strategies, ideas for early interventions and interventions on their return to deal with these issues and to lead and support colleagues in each of these areas.

Much of the day will revolve around case studies taken from real life so that attendees end the day more confident in dealing with these, often difficult, cases. In the final session we will look at how to ensure that your attendance policy effectively supports what you are doing in practice.


  • Gain knowledge on the complex reasons for poor attendance and school refusal
  • Practical interventions that work following a behaviour sanction
  • Learn how to effectively support students returning from a behaviour sanction
  • Take away strategies to re-engage students in their learning
  • Understand the vital role families have in developing a desire to learn in their child
  • Practical tools on how to spot poor patterns of attendance early and try and pre-empt concerns.
  • Identify key tools and techniques to support school refusers and their families
  • Discuss case studies of students returning to school after long absence/attendance issues
  • Discover how to write a really effective attendance policy and make it work in your context


The complex reasons why attendance can become an issue for students

10.00 – 10.45am

    Discussion based around case studies looking at:

  • Poor behaviour in school and resulting sanctions
  • Understanding school anxiety and other mental health concerns
  • Physical reasons for non-attendance
  • The role of neurodiversity in attendance concerns
  • Home issues – family breakup, family illness and other ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences)

Spotting early-warning signs of poor attendance

10.45 – 11.30am
  • Using the data from your registers
  • Creating a strong safeguarding culture around attendance
  • How to communicate with students and parents to address growing concerns effectively

Morning Break

11.30 – 11.50am

How to deal with School Refusers

11.50 – 12.45pm
  • Case studies that deal with school refusal
  • Identification of key tools and techniques that school leaders can use to support school refusers and their families
  • Keeping lines of communication open with students and their families while not attending
  • Liaising with social services and/or CAMHS to support families
  • Supporting students with distance learning
  • How do you get students back in the building after a prolonged absence?


12.45 – 1.45pm

Interventions: Re-engaging students after a long absence/behaviour sanction

11.50 – 12.45pm
  • Case studies looking at returning to school after long absence/attendance issues
  • Identification of key tools and techniques that school leaders can use to help students and their families
  • Interventions that work when students return from a behaviour sanction – Is there a different approach?
  • How we can re-engage disaffected students to have a desire to learn
  • Looking at models of ‘mixed schooling’ and possible solutions of part-time timetables/days online etc
  • Supporting teaching staff with creating an inclusive environment for returning students
  • Working with social services and/or CAMHS to support families.

Afternoon Break

2.45 – 2.55pm

How to write a really effective attendance policy

2.55 – 3.45pm
  • A summary of key government guidance and legislation
  • How to translate government guidance into your own context and policy
  • Balancing pastoral care with improving attendance figures


London | Wednesday 11 July 2023

Please select your preferred date

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Luke Ramsden is an award-winning senior deputy headmaster. In his time at St Benedict’s it has become a flagship school for safeguarding and pastoral care, with the happiness of every student at the heart of school life. Outside school he is an ISI inspector and also regularly talks at educational conferences. He is also Chair of the Independent Safeguarding Panel that advises The Safeguarding Company and Chair of Trustees for the School’s Consent Project. It is because of this work with a number of different organisations that he was awarded the NAPCE 2023 award for ‘Raising Awareness About Pastoral Care.’


  • Senior Leaders with responsibility for Pastoral Care
  • Aspiring Pastoral Senior Leaders
  • Designated Safeguarding Leads


  • A specially prepared folder of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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