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Article: The positive impact regular attendance has on pupil outcomes – insights from the DfE

Article: The positive impact regular attendance has on pupil outcomes – insights from the DfE

Attendance is a fundamental aspect of a pupil’s educational journey. It plays a pivotal role in shaping academic success and overall well-being. Schools Week highlights that in the last academic year almost two in five disadvantaged pupils were persistently absent.

The Department for Education (DfE) has extensively researched the impact of attendance on pupil outcomes and is majorly expanding the number of attendance hubs across the country in their drive to support schools when it comes to improving attendance.

Academic achievement:

The DfE’s research consistently emphasises the direct correlation between attendance and academic success.

Higher attendance rates lead to improved academic performance, as pupils have more opportunities to engage with classroom materials, participate in discussions, and receive timely feedback from teachers.

According to the DfE’s data, pupils with good attendance records are more likely to achieve better grades – which demonstrates the critical role attendance plays in fostering a positive learning environment.

ProgressTeaching gives schools instant insights into the key information they need to effectively drive their pupil attendance strategy – ensuring no child gets left behind in their education.

Long-term educational attainment:

Beyond immediate academic gains, regular attendance significantly contributes to long-term educational attainment.

The DfE’s studies indicate that pupils who consistently attend school are more likely to pursue higher education and ultimately secure better employment opportunities. 

This reinforces the idea that attendance is not only a short-term predictor of academic success, but also a key factor in shaping a pupil’s educational and professional trajectory.

Social and emotional well-being:

The DfE’s research goes beyond academic metrics, highlighting the impact of attendance on pupils’ social and emotional well-being. Regular school attendance fosters a sense of belonging and connection within the school community.

Pupils who attend school regularly are more likely to develop positive relationships with peers and teachers, enhancing their overall emotional resilience and mental health.

Conversely, chronic absenteeism has been linked to feelings of isolation, disengagement, and a higher risk of pupils not continuing with their education when they finish secondary school.

Addressing barriers to attendance:

The DfE’s findings also shed light on the importance of identifying and addressing barriers to attendance. Factors such as health issues, family circumstances, and socioeconomic challenges can significantly impact a student’s ability to attend school regularly.

Recognising and addressing these barriers is crucial for creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment that accommodates the diverse needs of students.

With ProgressTeaching you can instantly identify which pupils need more support by quickly accessing pastoral reports and pupil support strategies.


In conclusion, the Department for Education’s research underscores the profound impact that attendance has on pupil outcomes.

Regular attendance is not only a procedural requirement but a critical determinant of academic success, long-term educational attainment, and holistic pupil well-being.

Schools, parents, and policymakers must collaborate to create an environment that promotes regular attendance and addresses underlying factors that may hinder pupils’ ability to attend school regularly.

By prioritising attendance, we can ensure that every pupil has the opportunity to succeed in their educational journey and build a foundation for a brighter future.

Book a demonstration to find out how ProgressTeaching can help your school improve pupil attendance:

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