Improving school attendance: your role from the guidance

Be clear on what’s in the guidance and what's expected from you when it comes to improving school attendance. Use our example questions to make sure your leaders are prioritising attendance and that your school or trust is compliant.

Last reviewed on 17 May 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 40974
  1. Expectations for your school
  2. Your board's role
  3. 1. Recognise the importance of school attendance and promote it across the school's ethos and policies
  4. 2. Make sure your school leaders fulfil expectations and statutory duties
  5. 3. Regularly review attendance data and help leaders focus improvement efforts on pupils who need it
  6. 4. Make sure school staff receive adequate training on attendance
  7. 5. For MATs and federations: share effective practice across your schools
  8. Download your list of questions to ask

Expectations for your school

Your school is expected to (note that it's likely to be doing these things already!):

  • Develop and maintain a whole school culture that promotes the benefits of high attendance (pages 9, 10 and 22)
    • This includes having a designated senior leader with overall responsibility for championing and improving attendance in school
    • For larger trusts, you may have a dedicated attendance lead to drive attendance improvement across the trust 
  • Have a clear school attendance policy, understood by all leaders, staff, pupils and parents (page 11)
  • Accurately complete admissions and attendance registers, and have effective processes to follow-up absence (page 12)
  • Regularly analyse attendance and absence data to identify pupils/cohorts that need support (page 14)
  • Support pupils and parents/carers by working together to understand and address barriers to attendance (pages 15 to 17)

The rest of this article summarises section 3 of working together to improve school attendance. This outlines what's expected of the board of trustees in

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