Why high attendance is important for education
As a parent or carer you want the best for your children. Having a good education is an important factor in opening up more opportunities in adult life. Did you know that:
- a child who is absent a day of school per week misses an equivalent of two years of their school life
- 90% of young people with attendance rates below 85% fail to achieve five or more good grades of GCSE and around one third achieve no GCSEs at all
- poor examination results limit young people’s options and poor attendance suggests to colleges and employers that these students are unreliable
- poor school attendance is also closely associated with crime a quarter of school age offenders have truanted repeatedly
- at least 1 million children take at least one half day off a year without permission
- 7.5 million school days are missed each year through unauthorised absence
GCSEs may seem a long way off for you and your child but all absence at any stage leads to gaps in your child’s learning. This in turn can:
- mean that they fall behind in work
- affect their motivation
- affect their enjoyment of learning
- lead to poor behaviour
- affect their desire to attend school regularly affect their confidence in school
- mean they miss out on the social life of school and extra curricular opportunities and experiences
- affect their ability to have or keep friendships.
Supporting your child's school attendance
Good school attendance habits are best started early. Children learn from those around them and you as parents/carers set the standards and expectations for your child. Showing your child the importance of attending school every day not only helps your child to settle quickly when starting school but helps them to keep and maintain friendships and enjoy the school environment.
Be organised, have a plan, be consistent and involve your child.
- Create good routines for mornings at home so that your child can arrive punctually and they are properly equipped; this will also mean your mornings can start calmly too.
- Make time to encourage and show interest. Chat to them about the things they have learnt, what friends they have made and even what they had for lunch! Remember children can be tired when coming out of school, so a short chat over a snack or later that evening may produce a better result than a long list of questions.
- Read all school communications. A home/school diary can help with communication only when all parties use it as intended.
- Attend school open evenings and functions.
- Check your child understands the homework and that it has been completed. Support them in completing homework by creating a calm space for them to work in and set specific times during the week when homework should be done.
- Avoid absence from school wherever possible. Try to make doctors and dental appointments out of school hours. Absence means your child will miss out on the academic studies and will also learn that education is not the main priority within the family. This can have a lifelong effect.
There tends to be good reasons why children become reluctant to attend school. Take the time to listen to your child, share any concerns you or your child may have with the appropriate member of school staff and seek support at the very earliest opportunity.