Working with parents and carers to improve attendance

Understand how to communicate effectively with parents and carers to challenge barriers and improve attendance, and find advice on how to work with them effectively.

Last reviewed on 17 June 2024
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 49497
  1. You're expected to work in partnership with parents and carers
  2. Establish good communication with parents and carers
  3. Work together to identify barriers to attendance
  4. Work with families to find flexible, individual solutions
  5. Communicate about your attendance policy clearly and regularly
  6. Only use sanctions as a last resort

You're expected to work in partnership with parents and carers

Work collaboratively with families to treat the root causes of absence and remove barriers to attendance, which are often specific to individual pupils and families. 

This is explained in paragraphs 8 and 14 of the DfE’s guidance on working together to improve school attendance, which is statutory from 19 August 2024. 

Make sure your conversations around attendance are equally representative of your voice, the parent/carer's voice and the pupil's.

Read on for advice about how to do this, which isn’t always an easy task. 

Establish good communication with parents and carers

Regular and effective communication with parents/carers makes it easier to work as a team to improve attendance. 

Making sure communication is timely, regular, and relevant to specific pupils Framing absences in lessons missed, rather than percentages Highlighting the wider social and academic benefits of school Avoiding generalising

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