Friday, November 28, 2014

Amesbury School Attendance Report: Terms 1 - 3, 2014


There is a substantial body of research showing clear links between long term achievement, health, wealth, success and happiness and attendance at school. Children who attend school consistently are likely to stay at school longer and live more successful lives. Of particular interest is the link between attendance in the first two years at school and longevity at school. What this suggests is that a pattern of attendance develops very early in school life and does not easily change. Children whose attendance is lower are more likely to leave school before achieving the necessary qualifications for success.

The School is required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that students do attend school whenever it is open. The Education Act 1989 requires all children enrolled at a school to attend school whenever that school is open unless they have a justified reason not to attend. Every parent of a child who is not at school without a good reason, commits an offence and can be convicted and fined. Just giving a reason does not justify an absence.

Attendance Target

As a result, we have set a school target attendance level of 96%. It is easy to get below 96% attendance with a couple of bouts of sickness during the winter. However, when you consider that an attendance figure of 90% means that by the time a student goes to High School, they will have missed almost a year of schooling, we should be aiming for 96%.

Attendance levels for Terms 1 – 3, 2014


  1. The average attendance rate for terms 1 – 3, 2014 was 95.1%. This is the same as the attendance rate for 2012 but higher than the attendance rate for 2013 which was 94.5%.
  2. 60.1% of students have achieved the targeted threshold of 96% or above. This is higher than in the previous two years ( 57% in 2012 and 55% in 2013).
  3. 15.7% of students have attendance rates of 90% or below which is lower than the 2013 percentage of 16.4% but still significantly higher than the 2012  percentage of 12.7%).
  4. 2% of students have attendance rates of below 80% which is similar to previous years.
  5. 12% of students have taken a holiday during term time. This is considerably less than the 22% who took holidays during term time in 2012, but similar to the percentage of students who took holidays during term time in 2013.
  6. The attendance of 4% students is of particular concern and needs to be closely monitored.
  7. We now have sufficient data over time to see some attendance patterns emerging and remaining and these are showing that we should definitely be concerned about the attendance of a few students.

Family holidays overseas have continued to impact on attendance. However, it is positive to see the upward movement towards the 96%.  Of greatest concern is the attendance that is low because of a day taken off here and a day taken off there. This is the pattern that leads to students disengaging with school over time and leaving school early in their secondary school years.

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