What is driving pupil absence in our schools? New research on school attendance

18th January 2024 | Blogs

Attendance continues to be a significant challenge for schools across the country, with persistent absence rates at almost 1 in 4 (22.3%) during the last academic year. 

Last Spring, ImpactEd Evaluation launched a national research project to help schools and trusts identify the drivers behind low attendance in their contexts and consider what initiatives they can put in place to address this. Crucially, the research not only dives into what’s happening with attendance but why it’s happening.

ImpactEd have now released their 'Understanding Attendance' report to share insights from the project so far. The research incorporates attendance data from 200,000 pupils and surveys from 30,000 pupils - it is the largest of its kind in the UK to date. Click here to read the full report.



The importance of belonging

The report’s findings show that a sense of belonging is a key driver of attendance across all contexts.

This is also backed up by UCL Institute of Education, who report that pupils with a sense of belonging at school tend to be happier, more confident and perform better academically. They are also more likely to choose to attend (and stay in) their learning environment throughout the year.


How do you create a sense of belonging?

Click below to find a range of free resources to support you to create a sense of belonging in your setting. From an on-demand webinar recording exploring how to quickly create a sense of belonging, to an in-depth guide on tackling low attendance. Plus, useful podcasts and blogs full of actionable tips and advice.

Explore your free resources

Being in school matters: Your guide to tackling low attendance


Pupil Wellbeing courses

If you’d value additional support on creating a sense of belonging, developing positive relationships and ensuring every all pupils feel safe, supported and ready to learn, our Pupil Wellbeing courses could be a fit.

The training at a glance:

  • Explore the links between social and emotional development and learning and ways to help pupils reach their potential
  • Discover how to develop a classroom-focussed, trauma-sensitive approach to support mental health and wellbeing
  • Ideal for anyone working alongside children and young people - teachers, teaching assistants, support staff and mealtime assistants
  • 4 x 3 hour live, virtual training sessions
  • From £358.00 excluding VAT

Find out more and secure your place


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