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Pupils & learning

Improving school attendance

Understand the board's role in relation to developing an attendance policy, reviewing attendance data and improving outcomes for all pupils.

Pupils-learning young pupils running out of their school gates

Attending school is critically important for children’s life chances, including their attainment, wellbeing, wider development and safeguarding.​

Pupils who already face particular challenges, including pupils on free school meals, pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and pupils with a social worker are also more likely to be absent from school; this widens educational disadvantage.

Department for education (DfE) guidance is clear that improving school attendance begins at board level, meaning governing boards should take an active role in attendance improvement and collaborate with leaders to set a whole school culture.

We have worked with the DfE to produce our guide to improving school attendance. The guide sets out governing board responsibilities and questions to ask in relation to:

  • developing an effective attendance policy
  • regularly reviewing attendance data
  • ensuring staff receive the training they need to improve attendance

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