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School attendance matters

21 March 2024

We’ve been closely following the Department for Education's (DfE) attendance drive, which aims to improve school attendance rates across the UK.

Those working in schools and trusts will understand why so much emphasis has been put on attendance post-Covid, when attendance was at its lowest, and why attendance is so crucial.

The importance of regular attendance

There’s substantial evidence showing that regular attendance is essential for children to achieve their full potential and succeed in their education.

When children miss school, they miss out on valuable learning opportunities, which can have a significant impact on their academic progress. Poor attendance can also lead to social isolation, low self-esteem, and a lack of engagement with school – something we saw during the pandemic.

The DfE's attendance drive aims to address these issues by promoting the importance of regular attendance and reducing the number of absences.

New measures to improve attendance

The current drive includes a range of measures, including raising awareness, improved communication, early intervention, and sanctions for non-compliance.

In addition to these measures, the DfE has announced some new plans to further improve attendance rates. These include:

  • A new attendance code.
  • Improved data collection.
  • Increased support for schools.
  • Expansion of the attendance hubs (and attendance mentors) which will provide a range of tailored support to families and pupils to boost time in school.

As a school, you can take advantage of these measures to improve attendance rates and tackle persistent absence, to ensure that your students have the best possible chance of success.

Next steps

By communicating more effectively with parents and carers about attendance, identifying and addressing attendance issues early, and providing support to help students attend school regularly, you can improve attendance which goes hand in hand with attainment and achieving better outcomes for pupils.

We will be publishing a series of articles of attendance covering tackling persistent absence, building a culture of attendance, policies and practices and the measures highlighted in the DfE’s attendance drive – so keep an eye out for further information and guidance to support you in making attendance matter.

Key contacts

Key contacts

Laura Murphy


+44 (0)115 908 4886

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Can we help you? Contact Laura

Annemarie Thomas-Banyard


+44 (0)3300452916

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Can we help you? Contact Annemarie

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