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 14 March 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
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  1. Instil a staff mindset of high expectations around attendance
  2. Establish a senior leadership team presence around school
  3. Make good attendance everyone's responsibility
  4. Give pupils a purpose to be in school each day
  5. Offer pupils the tools to come to school
  6. Provide secure conditions for learning
  7. Use your exciting curriculum to entice pupils
  8. Anticipate family patterns
  9. Appoint an attendance lead who’s passionate about high expectations
  10. Include clear stages of action in your policy
  11. Further reading on improving attendance

The guidance in this article comes from our expert Nina Siddall-Ward, and Ofsted’s report on securing good attendance.

The DfE has published new non-statutory guidance on improving school attendance that applies from September 2022. Read the summary of updates

Instil a staff mindset of high expectations around attendance

Having all of your staff on board will help to make sure of a consistent approach to your attendance policy throughout your school. To do this:

  • Give staff the necessary attendance vocabulary and encouraging soundbites, like “zero tolerance of low attendance” and “every school day is a great day”
  • Remind staff to model a 100% expectation for pupils to attend and learn in every lesson. This is especially important if you're in a secondary school, where your pupils will have multiple teachers during the day
  • Make sure staff members model personal punctuality themselves

Have your senior leaders greet pupils on