Top tips for improving attendance

Use our practical tips to help tackle poor attendance in your school. While these aren't intended to be a quick fix, you can put most of them into practice without overhauling your whole strategy.

Last reviewed on 27 July 2023
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  1. Start by analysing your attendance data
  2. Focus your attention where it’s needed most
  3. Get all your staff working together to promote good attendance
  4. Remind your community that good attendance is everyone's responsibility
  5. Give pupils a purpose to be in school each day

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.

Focus your attention where it’s needed most

Use the strategies set out in this article 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. 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)

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to getting individual absentees into school,