Best Practice

Persistent absence: What can schools do?

One in 10 pupils are considered to fall into the category of being persistently absent, meaning they miss 10 per cent or more of school sessions. So why do these pupils continue to stay away and what can schools do about it?

Being frequently absent from school is not only likely to affect achievement but is also an indicator that there may be other difficulties, either at home or at school, that need to be urgently addressed. Vulnerable and disadvantaged children are particularly at risk of becoming persistent absentees.

The persistent absence rate for those eligible for free school meals (FSM) is 21.6 per cent – more than twice the rate for those pupils not eligible for FSM. Also the persistent absence rate of those with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or Statement of SEN (24.3 per cent) is three times the figure for those with no identified SEN (DfE, 2019).

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting Headteacher Update and reading some of our content for professionals in primary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcasts

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday


Already have an account? Sign in here