Included, engaged and involved part 1: promoting and managing school attendance

Guidance to education authorities in Scotland on the promotion of good attendance and the management of attendance.

2. The Importance of good attendance

2.1 Attendance

Attendance is defined as participation in a programme of educational activities arranged and agreed by the school, including:

Attendance at school

Learning outwith the school provided by a college or other learning provider while still on the roll of the school

Educational visits, day and residential visits to outdoor centres

Interviews and visits relating to further and higher education or careers events

Debates, sports, musical or drama activities in conjunction with the school

Study leave for pupils participating in national exams, if arranged by the school during the period of the national examination timetable

Receiving tuition via hospital or outreach teaching services (see 4.3)

Work experience

Schools should seek to ensure that children and young people attend school or another learning environment for the recommended 25 hours in primary schools and 27.5 hours for secondary schools.

2.2 The impact of poor attendance

Whilst both the causes and the impact of poor attendance are known to be complex and multifaceted, research demonstrates the potential impact that poor attendance can have. Poor attendance has been linked to lower levels of attainment; peer relationships; emotional and behavioural difficulties and poorer employment opportunities. This was found to be the case even when prior attainment and pupil characteristics were taken into account (DfE, 2016). Some initial studies have indicated that missing 10% of schooling (equivalent of 4 weeks) over the course of a year can impact on attainment. Low levels of attendance can also be linked to how connected children and young people feel to their school community. Lack of school connectedness has been linked to a range of poorer outcomes including attainment, wellbeing and involvement in offending behaviours. Attendance and participation with school can also be considered as protective factors for children and young people experiencing adversity or trauma and can support early intervention. While recognising that the links between attendance and these factors are not straightforward, there is still a clear case for demonstrating the importance of promoting good attendance in schools.



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