24th January 2003 at 00:00

* Electronic registration systems are expensive, so choose carefully.

Finding the right system will depend on your ICT facilities, your budget and the size and layout of your school. Send for the brochures, talk to the sales representatives - but try to visit other schools where electronic registration is already in use. The DfES website offers "guidance on purchasing systems".

* Bromcon computers ( Tel: 020 8695 8000. Wireless system already widely used.

* RM plc ( Tel: 01943 463346. E-reg system using light pens or barcode readers.

* Phoenix (www.phoenix Tel: 01722 344800.

* Sentinel ( Tel: 01823 358911. Swipe card system - website offers "online presentation".

* EasyTrace (www.easytrace. Tel: 01962 795014. A rival card-based system.


* Call Divert. Tel: 01226 213443. Calls parents on school's behalf.

* Truancy Call (www.truancycall. com). Tel: 0870 010 6965. As above, but automated system.

* Voice Connect (www.voice Tel: 0116 232 4640. As above, but uses mobile phone texting.


* Truancy and Schools, by Ken Reid (RoutledgeFalmer, pound;22.50). Focuses on the social, psychological and educational causes of truancy and gives useful strategies for tackling the issue.

* Tackling Truancy in Schools: a practical manual for primary and secondary schools, by Ken Reid (RoutledgeFalmer pound;35).

* Also by the same author. Truancy: long and short-term solutions (RoutledgeFalmer pound;16.99). Book of the Week, Friday magazine, May 10, 2002. Based on recent research and case studies in schools.

* Understanding Truancy, by Heather Malcolm (SCRE, pound;10).

* Improving School Attendance, edited by Eric Blyth (RoutledgeFalmer, pound;19.99). Collection of essays by heads, teachers and academics.

* Going to The Dogs, by Ian McCormack (Carel Press, pound;3.99). Tel: 01228 538928. Draws on the author's experience of working in schools where he offers role-play and drama workshops - for pupils or staff - designed to tackle attendance issues. For details on workshops, tel: 01925 823278.

Other resources

* Truancy and Social Exclusion - report by Social Exclusion Unit. Available from The Stationery Office, tel: 0870 6005522.

* DfES school attendance website ( Latest news on government initiatives, but also a collection of case studies giving examples of good practice.

* Improving Attendance and Behaviour in Secondary Schools (HMI Report No 2429), published by Ofsted, February 2001. Part of an Ofsted series on strategies for promoting inclusion. Free from

* The Teacher Support Network provides access to recent press releases and news stories on truancy. Visit www.teacherline. and enter "truancy and schools" into the search box.

* Not a Problem? Girls and School Exclusion, by Audrey Osler, Cathy Street, Marie Lall and Kerry Vincent (National Children's Bureau pound;12.95).

This 2002 study - supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation - examines girls' perceptions of school life and covers information on truancy as a form of student "self-exclusion" as well as wider exclusion issues.

A comprehensive list of resources on truancy can be found at

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