ADR Wales has released its latest publication analysing the effect that living in a homeless household has on school attendance.

ADR Wales Housing and Homelessness researchers, Dr Ian Thomas and Dr Peter Mackie, compared patterns of attendance amongst children living in households who were accessing the City and County of Swansea housing support team with those who were not. The report linked anonymised data from the City and County of Swansea housing team with schools data and the Welsh Demographic Service (WDS). Data used in this analysis covers the academic years 2012/13 to 2015/16.

The analysis found:

  • In any given academic year, just over 1% of pupils (between the ages of 5 and 16 years old) were living in households that have accessed the City and County of Swansea housing team.
  • Absenteeism varied slightly with academic year, but children living in households that were accessing the Swansea housing team were missing on average roughly five days more of school than their stabily housed peers.
  • Becoming homeless or at risk of homelessness was associated with a 7% increase in total sessions absent from school.

Under the Housing (Wales) Act (2014), local authorities in Wales are required to prevent and alleviate homelessness through the provision of advice and assistance to households who are either at risk of homelessness or currently homeless. Assistance can range from the provision of information on money management to securing alternative accommodation for the household, which can include placement in temporary accommodation by the council.

Situated under ADR Wales’ Housing and Homelessness body of work, this analysis is one of a number of pieces of work that ADR Wales is carrying out with the aim of enabling evidence based policies to enhance the lives of people in Wales.

Dr Pete Mackie, lead academic for ADR Wales Housing & Homelessness body of work said: “This study reveals the detrimental impacts of homelessness on children’s attendance at school and highlights how homelessness worsens the inequalities already faced by children and their families.

“Earlier, upstream actions are required if we are to prevent homelessness in Wales. These actions must focus on the root causes of homelessness, particularly poverty and a lack of affordable housing.”

Read the full report on the Welsh Government website.

You can find out more about this work on the project page.