Improving attendance: strategies and factsheet (secondary)

Find the tools you need to tackle attendance among persistently and severely absent pupils or groups. Use our factsheet to remind parents of their responsibilities and help you embed a whole-school culture of high attendance.

Last reviewed on 23 November 2022
School types: All · School phases: Secondary, 16 Plus
Ref: 9539
  1. Start by analysing your attendance data 
  2. Establish a positive yet firm whole-school approach to attendance
  3. Keep an eye on these pupils from your persistently and severely absent groups 
  4. Tailor your strategies to meet the needs of persistent and severe absentees
  5. Make attendance a standing item on your weekly SLT meeting agenda 

Start by analysing your attendance data 

Make sure you fully understand the situation in your school before you start taking steps to improve it. Find out how to analyse your attendance and absence data in 3 steps.

Establish a positive yet firm whole-school approach to attendance

Use these strategies to lay the foundations of a strong culture around attendance. 

But remember: while whole-school approaches are important, you should target the majority of your attendance resources at persistent and severe absentees (see section below). This is because a small number of these pupils are likely to be responsible for a large proportion of absences.

These pupils fall into 2 categories – pupils whose absence is:

  • Persistent (missing more than 10% of sessions)
  • Severe (missing more than 50% of sessions)

Use our model attendance policy to help you set out your school’s approach to tackling unauthorised absence and encourage good attendance in all staff