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Department for Education. Statutory guidance: Keeping children safe in education. 2023. https//

School attendance is everyone's business

02 August 2023
Volume 4 · Issue 4

Attendance is everyone's business and, as a new school year begins, it must be our priority. Pupil absence remains a key challenge for schools post-COVID. The figures for persistent absence are, quite frankly, scary. In the last academic year, 22.3% of our children and young people were persistently absent – meaning they miss 10% of sessions (17.2% at primary and an unbelievable 28.3% at secondary) (Department for Education [DfE], 2023) (see Page 163).

And it doesn't stop there, while overall absence stands at 7.5%, this rises to 11.4% for disadvantaged pupils, 13.3% for pupils with Education, Health and Care Plans, 11.1% for those with SEN (DfE, 2023).

Attendance must be a priority for all those working in and around schools given the links, of course, to students’ academic outcomes – but it is the clear connection with harm, abuse and neglect that make this such a burning issue.

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