The Education Hub
Back to school week – Everything you need to know about school attendance
Face-to-face education is important in helping pupils to fulfil their potential.
During school time we believe pupils should be in class with their teachers and peers and enjoying all the benefits that brings.
Parents or carers of a child have a legal responsibility to ensure their child receives a suitable education. This is usually achieved through regular attendance at school.
Why is regular attendance so important?
Being in school every day that it is open, is important to your child’s achievement, wellbeing, and their wider development.
With millions of pupils set to return to schools and colleges over the coming days, there will be a renewed focus on maximising pupils’ time in the classroom, as evidence shows that the students with the highest attendance throughout their time in school gain the best GCSE and A Level results.
Here’s what the data shows:
Pupils with higher attainment at KS2 and KS4 had lower levels of absence over the key stage compared to those with lower attainment.
Pupils who did not achieve the expected standard in reading, writing and maths in 2019 had an overall absence rate of 4.7% over the key stage, compared with 3.5% among pupils who achieved the expected standard and 2.7% among those who achieved the higher standard.
Pupils who did not achieve grade 9 to 4 in English and maths GCSEs in 2019 had an overall absence rate of 8.8% over the key stage, compared with 5.2% among pupils who achieved a grade 4 and 3.7% among pupils who achieved grade 9 to 5 in both English and maths.
Generally, the higher the percentage of sessions missed across the key stage at KS2 and KS4, the lower the level of attainment at the end of the key stage.
Among pupils with no missed sessions over KS2, 83.9% achieved the expected standard compared to 40.2% of pupils who were persistently absent.
Among pupils with no missed sessions over KS4, 83.7% achieved grades 9 to 4 in English and maths compared to 35.6% of pupils who were persistently absent.
There are only a small number of circumstances where missing a school day is permitted.
When can my child be absent from school?
When you register your child at school, you have a legal duty to ensure your child attends that school regularly.
This means that your child must attend every day that the school is open, unless:
Your child is too ill to attend that day.
You have asked in advance and been given permission by the school for your child to be absent on that day due to exceptional circumstances.
Your child cannot attend school on that day because it is a day you are taking part in religious observance.
Your local authority is responsible for arranging your child’s transport to school and it is not available on that day or has not been provided yet; or
You are a gypsy/traveller family with no fixed abode, and you are required to travel for work that day meaning your child cannot attend their usual school. In most circumstances, however, your child is required to attend another school temporarily during such absences.
These are the only circumstances where schools can permit your child to be absent.
You can read the full Education Hub article here: