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Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3SJ

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As a school, we understand the impact of absences on a child's progress and attainment. We recognise that sometimes children become unwell and are unable to attend school, which has been further exacerbated by the pandemic. However, it is our responsibility to highlight the negative effect prolonged absence can have on a child's education.


Research shows that there is a clear link between poor attendance and low levels of achievement. For example, pupils who miss between 10% and 20% of school are less likely to achieve five or more GCSEs in grades A* to C, including English and Maths. Only 35% of these pupils achieve this, whereas 73% of those who attend school 95% of the time achieve this.


It's important to note that good attendance should start at primary school. The staff and governors of Holywell Primary School recognise that addressing attendance issues at an early stage will prevent them from becoming a long-term problem.


To put absence into context, consider the following:


- 1 day off per school year = 99.5% attendance

- 10 days off per school year = 94.7% attendance

- 20 days off per school year = 90% attendance


An attendance rate of 90% means that a child has missed four whole weeks of school during the year. If a child has 90% attendance throughout years 1-6, they'll have missed half a year of school. For a child who has 90% attendance throughout primary and secondary school, they'll have missed a significant amount of their education.

Regular school attendance is extremely important for children to acquire knowledge, develop skills, and build relationships with peers and teachers. Poor attendance levels can negatively impact children's educational outcomes, leaving them at a significant disadvantage by missing out on valuable learning opportunities.


However, we often overlook the detrimental effects of poor attendance on children's social and emotional development. The school provides a space for interaction with peers, fostering social skills, teamwork, and emotional wellbeing support. Regular attendance allows children to form friendships, engage in extracurricular activities, and develop a sense of belonging within their school community. 


On the contrary, frequent absences isolate children from these important interactions, potentially leading to feelings of loneliness, detachment, and low self-esteem. It may also make it harder for them to build supportive relationships with peers and miss out on the emotional support that school environments can provide. Consequently, children who are frequently absent may experience difficulties in their social development, which can impact their overall wellbeing. 


If you're a parent and wondering if your child is too unwell for school, the NHS has advice that you can refer to here: