Regular school attendance is a key focus at Culloden because of the many ways it benefits our pupils.
One of the 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 vital 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 lets students 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, so we 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.
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.
Early Intervention and Support
Identifying attendance issues early on is essential. By establishing a supportive environment where pupils feel comfortable discussing their challenges, we can implement early interventions and prevent prolonged absences.
We have Home School Support Workers, Attendance Teams and three Learning Mentors to support pupils and families. We also work with specialists Impact Ed. to try and address the core issues behind poor attendance.
Recognising and rewarding good attendance can motivate students to attend school regularly. We announce weekly attendance winners and hold half term parties for classes with the best attendance where they can come to school in non-uniform.
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.