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Teaching | January 17, 2024

The benefits of regular attendance

Regular school attendance is a key focus at Old Ford because of the many ways it benefits our pupils.

One of the main advantages of regular school attendance is academic success. Studies show pupils who attend school consistently are more likely to stay on track with their studies, grasp key concepts, and excel in examinations. Consistent attendance allows continuity of learning which is fundamental for academic achievement.

In 2019, 84% of UK pupils in Key Stage 2 who had 100% attendance achieved the expected standard, while only 40% of pupils who were persistently absent managed to hit their target.

The pattern continues through school. Pupils who didn’t achieve a grade of 4 to 9 in GCSE maths and English on average had missed 10 more days over the key stage compared to students who achieved grade 9 to 5 in the subject. It’s estimated just 17 missed school days per year will result in a drop in GCSE grade.

School is also crucial for developing social and emotional skills. Regular attendance allows students to form lasting friendships, engage in extracurricular activities, and develop essential interpersonal skills they’ll need in adult life. 

Attendance also instils discipline and a sense of responsibility in students, and employers often look for people with these traits who can demonstrate reliability and commitment.

To help children who struggle with attendance requires a comprehensive whole-school approach that addresses the root causes. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution – we treat each case individually. As a Trust, some of the strategies we use are:

Focusing on Success

If pupils find lessons unengaging and irrelevant, they’re less likely to attend school. We make great efforts to teach in a way that results in children feeling they are doing something worthwhile, but also secure enough that they feel safe. This feeling of achievement then helps them become more engaged in lessons. We continually review what we do to find ways we can refine and improve, then share them across the Trust.


Parental Involvement

Parents have a crucial role in ensuring their children attend school regularly. We promote parental involvement through regular communication, parent-teacher meetings, and highlighting the importance of attendance for their child’s future. In some cases we have found it beneficial to help set up a timetable for the home, and found offering to collect pupils from their home in extenuating circumstances to be effective in supporting families to break some of those barriers to good attendance. 

Early Intervention and Support

Identifying attendance issues early on is essential, so we robustly monitor attendance on a daily basis. By establishing a supportive environment in school where our pupils feel comfortable discussing their challenges, we’re able to implement early interventions and prevent prolonged absences. 

Communication is also key to understanding and taking effective action, which is why we survey pupils and parents, and use that feedback to create an informed action plan which supports pupils with attendance. We also work with external agency Impact Ed. to try and address the core issues behind poor attendance.

Positive Reinforcement

Recognising and rewarding good attendance can motivate pupils to attend school regularly, and we provide incentives and prizes to celebrate students with high or significantly improved attendance. 

By focusing on attendance we can help more pupils spend more time at school, so they are better educated and better prepared to succeed in their adult lives.

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