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Understanding and Evaluating Your Attendance Data

Understanding and Evaluating Your Attendance Data

How well do you know your school attendance data?

Understanding attendance data can be one of the most important tools in improving attendance.  Schools that have been successful in improving attendance and reducing persistent absence have a clear understanding of the attendance issues in their school and they identify these through their analysis of their data.

Regularly analysis can help with strategic planning and enable schools to manage attendance issues more efficiently, spotting these at an early stage and putting strategies in place to improve attendance.

But data can be intimidating and overwhelming! Understanding the school’s management information system is key. Are your staff trained fully in being able to use your systems to track and monitor attendance and extract the relevant information?

Continuous analysis of individual pupil attendance and of the whole school can support strategic planning and also enable schools to target the time of their education welfare officer or pastoral staff more effectively.

Producing figures for the whole school, year groups and the vulnerable groups, such as PPG and SEN, monthly, termly or yearly can indicate factors such as:

  • The effect of seasonal attendance –during colder months
  • A decline in attendance preceding and following school holidays; Inset days; school day trips
  • The effect of ending or starting terms mid-week
  • The effect of holidays during term time
  • The impact on different term times with local primary/secondary schools


An audit and evaluation of your school’s attendance procedures and data can help you understand the issues within the school and support you with putting in place effective processes. For further information about how WPA can assist you and with the training of your attendance staff to enable them to understand your data please contact us by calling 01689 843322 or using our contact form

Written by Sue Mellish
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