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Why does attendance matter?


Missing a few days of school here and there may not seem a big deal, but research shows that it can have a significant impact on children’s learning.


Children who miss a substantial amount of school fall behind their peers, and struggle to catch up.


Poor attendance often starts at primary school, and children who fall into this pattern are likely to underachieve at secondary school. Pupils who miss between 10 and 20% of school (that’s 19 to 38 days per year) stand only a 35% chance of achieving five or more good GCSEs, compared to 73% of those who miss fewer than 5% of school days.


Friendships can be affected by persistent absence, too: it can be hard for a child who misses lots of school to form relationships with their classmates.


What counts as good attendance?


An attendance rate of 95% is generally considered good.

Persistent absence (PA) is defined as an attendance rate of 90% or below.


What absences are not authorised?


Certain types of absence will be marked as unauthorised. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, agreed by the headteacher, time off for holidays is always unauthorised.

Absences where the parents haven’t given the school a reason are also recorded as unauthorised.


What to do if your child is ill?


If your child is too ill to go to school, you must phone school on the morning of the first day of absence and each day after.