Almost 5,000 children in Sheffield to miss out on education

Nearly 5,000 children in Sheffield will miss out on their education in 2021 due to factors beyond their control, new research reveals today.

Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 11:47 am

No Isolation - the innovative company behind the robot avatar AV1, which gives pupils unable to attend school a presence in the classroom - said 46,216 young people across Yorkshire and Humber will miss out on their education including 4,871 in Sheffield, 2,209 in Rotherham and 2,573 in Doncaster.

These figures include children and young people of compulsory school age who have long-term medical conditions, those who are 'persistent absentees' with Special Educational Needs, those who are home-schooled and those who have been impacted by Covid-19 or anxiety.

Based in Oslo, Norway, No Isolation produced the AV1 robot avatar, which acts as a child’s eyes, ears and voice in the classroom when illness, disability or mental health conditions prevent them from being there in person.

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Nearly 5000 children in Sheffield will miss out on their education in 2021 due to various factors beyond their control, new research reveals today.

The organisation is now urging Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to produce a national data-set on the number of children not receiving an adequate education due to long-term absence from school as part of their 'Back to School But Not For All' campaign.

They are also calling for local authorities across the UK to ensure that a child’s social needs are met and not just to focus on their educational needs.

According to them, more than half a million children will miss out on their education because of factors beyond their control across the UK.

Nationally, over 30 local authorities enable over 500 young people to use AV1.

The robot was developed in collaboration with children, teachers, scientists, families and the St Olav Hospital School in Norway.

No Isolation’s UK Director, Harriet Gridley, said: “This week children will return to school. But, sadly, not all. No parent or carer should have to fight for their child’s right to an education. It is vital that we have a national database of the children in this situation to ensure that their needs are properly provided for. The negative educational and social consequences can be life-long for children who miss out on long-term education.

"We have developed the right, secure, technology to bridge this gap but there is still a postcode lottery dictating whether a child gets access to an adequate provision, such as an AV1 robot, or not.”