New attendance guidance: summary of what the DfE expects

The DfE published new non-statutory guidance on improving school attendance that applies from September 2022. There aren’t any new requirements, but be clear on what the DfE expects you to do to improve attendance.

Last reviewed on 8 June 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 44743
  1. Headlines from the guidance 
  2. Develop a whole-school culture that promotes the benefits of high attendance
  3. Have a school attendance policy
  4. Have day-to-day processes to follow up absence
  5. Monitor and analyse data to identify those that need support
  6. Engage with families, understand barriers to attendance and work together to remove them
  7. Provide additional support for pupils with medical conditions or SEND
  8. Share information and work collaboratively with others
  9. A new focus on persistent and severe absence 
  10. Find out what the DfE expects from other stakeholders 

Headlines from the guidance 

The DfE has published working together to improve school attendance. The guidance:

  • Came into force in September 2022 and replaced the previous school attendance guidance 
  • Is non-statutory, but the Secretary of State has committed to this guidance becoming statutory in the future (not before September 2023)
  • Describes in detail what the DfE expects from you and other stakeholders. However, you're likely doing much of this already 

Develop a whole-school culture that promotes the benefits of high attendance

The guidance explains that schools with good attendance recognise the importance of embedding attendance into the school's ethos and culture.   

Make good attendance a central part of your vision, values and ethos Account for attendance in other school improvement priorities and regularly review your approach to improving attendance Have a designated senior leader with overall responsibility for improving attendance Make sure