Analysing your attendance and absence data

Find out how to analyse your attendance data to spot patterns in absences for groups of pupils, identify reasons this may be happening, and plan your next steps.

Last reviewed on 3 July 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 43671
  1. Step 1: use your MIS to pull the data you need
  2. Step 2: identify spikes using historic data and national data
  3. Step 3: ask questions and investigate patterns and trends
  4. Plan your next steps

Step 1: use your MIS to pull the data you need

When you’re gathering attendance data from your management information system (MIS), create separate reports for different cohorts of pupils. This will help you to identify patterns of absence more clearly and work on potential interventions.

Depending on your school’s context, consider separating the data on the basis of:

  • Year groups
  • Gender
  • Ethnic minorities (avoid grouping distinct ethnic groups together, as this may mask disparities between them)
  • The pupil premium (itself separated into disadvantaged, looked-after/post looked-after children, and service children)
  • Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)
  • Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils

Once you’ve gathered reports for each cohort, break your attendance data down by week. This serves 2 functions:

Once a spike has been noted, you can pin down