Schools and the Local Authority have statutory responsibilities to address pupil absence and safeguard children’s education. Schools are initially responsible for identifying and addressing absence early but the Local Authority holds the legal responsibility to prosecute for irregular attendance. Education Welfare Officers are most effective at addressing absence issues early and offer schools the option to work in close partnership to tackle persistent absenteeism and promote high levels of school attendance and punctuality; often safeguarding some of the most vulnerable pupils in school and supporting their families.
We know from research that every day at school does indeed matter. ‘Every extra day missed at school is associated with a lower attainment outcome for children. As overall absence levels increase, the average percentage of pupils attainment levels decreases at the end of KS2 and KS4¹
¹The link between absence and attainment at KS2 and KS4, Department for Education research report March 2016