Skip to content ↓

Our Wessex family of schools

Implications of Poor Attendance

Implications of Poor Attendance

Poor attendance (below 96%) is one of the single biggest blocks to student learning, having consequences not only for their achievement at school, but also their future life chances.

Implications for your child

There is strong evidence to show that where an individual students’ attendance is below 96% it will have a detrimental effect on their achievement, becoming increasingly damaging as their attendance percentage becomes lower.

Research by the Department for Education (and backed up by many other studies) show that pupils with poor attendance are likely to experience:

  • Loss of learning – gaps in knowledge and skills, and sense of ‘not understanding’
  • Academic underachievement
  • Difficulty making friends
  • Loss of confidence and self-esteem
  • Impaired socialisation for work

And these in interconnected effects don’t just impact on the student but they also have an effect of others, (which can then make matters even harder for the student):

  • The effects on other pupils – e.g. friends feeling deserted, disruption in class when absent pupils return, resentment amongst those pupils with good attendance, etc…
  • The effects on teaching – e.g. attention has to be diverted from the whole class owing to disruption and poor attenders having to catch up, impaired ability to build teacher-pupil working relationships, difficulty in being able to accurately assess and track absent pupils, etc…
The creeping effect of school absence

Many students do not realise how, over missing 1-2 days through the year (or arriving a few minutes late each day) accumulates and the impact it has on their learning, progress, achievement and success over time.

Implications of Poor Attendance

What is the connection between attendance and achievement?

The following graph produced by the Department for Education shows that there is a clear correlation between good attendance and academic success.

Graph showing the percentage chances of obtaining 5+ GCSE grades 5-9 including English and Maths, based on average attendance

Students that have a high attendance have the greatest chance of succeeding in their studies and achieving well.

Attendance also makes a difference in GCSE Grades

Attendance not only improves their chances of passing their GCSEs it also can make a real difference in the quality of their final grades.

This table shows how good attendance (above 96%) can actually lead to students achieving higher grades than expected for their ability – in fact it can mean they achieve nearly 1½ grades above the national average for their ability.

Whereas poor attendance has a steadily worsening effect on the grades that students achieve – as you will see a student whose attendance is between 85-90% will typically achieve 2 grades below their potential in each subject.

This is why good attendance is so important and why poor attendance is so damaging – in the short term at school, but also for their life opportunities.