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Last reviewed on 23 August 2019
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School types: All · School phases: All

Read summaries of research and find links to case studies on improving attendance.

Higher overall absence leads to lower attainment at KS2 and KS4 

The Department for Education (DfE) published research in 2016 which found that:

  • The higher the overall absence rate across Key Stage (KS) 2 and KS4, the lower the likely level of attainment at the end of KS2 and KS4
  • Pupils with no absence are 1.3 times more likely to achieve level 4 or above, and 3.1 times more likely to achieve level 5 or above, than pupils that missed 10-15% of all sessions
  • Pupils with no absence are 2.2 times more likely to achieve 5+ GCSEs A*- C or equivalent including English and mathematics than pupils that missed 15-20% of KS4 lessons

See pages 12 and 15 to 16.

There's a clear link between poor attendance and lower academic achievement

Of pupils with absence over 50%, only 3% manage to achieve 5 or more GCSEs at

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