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Actions for low attendance

Action for low attendance

Not coming to school is a serious concern. However, each case is different and the school knows that there is no standard response. Consideration is given to all factors affecting attendance before deciding what intervention strategies to use.

  • In every case, early intervention is needed to prevent the problem from worsening. It is essential that parents keep the school fully informed of any matters that may affect their child’s attendance.
  • Prior to the engagement of Ealing’s Education Social Worker (ESW), the school will issue letters to parents clearly defining the concerns within school regarding a pupil’s absence. It may also set up a parent meeting to discuss the pupil’s absence.  It is hoped that a quick response and change in levels of absence will prevent the need for ESW involvement.


Attendance levels


Attendance levels show our expectations and what happens next:

  • 97%+, expected attendance. This will help all aspects of a child’s achievement and life in school. This will give them a good start in life and supports a positive work ethic.
  • 97-91%, below expected attendance. As attendance falls, our concern increases. We follow our stepped approach to take action.
  • 90% or lower, persistent absence. Absence is causing serious concern. It is highly likely to affect attainment and progress and is disruptive to the child’s learning.  Meetings between home and school to share strategies for improvement will be called.  If improvement is not achieved a referral is made to the (ESW). A Fixed Penalty Notice will be considered where absence is not authorised.
  • 50% or lower is defined as severe absence.


For all children, we have a stepped approach to taking action. It will not always be appropriate to progress through all of these steps or even to carry them out in the order listed.

  • staff will use discretion and consider each case carefully;
  • where there has been no contact from parents, we will initiate first day calling for all pupils;
  • for pupils with attendance below 90% there will be a discussion with the Education Social Worker (ESW) at our regular half termly meeting;
  • we will monitor trends in pupil attendance and punctuality, including our vulnerable groups;
  • we will request for parent/carer to meet school staff;
  • if appropriate, will initiate procedures to access support from other agencies.


Education Social Worker (ESW) actions may include:

  • home visits,
  • multi agency meetings,
  • issuing a parenting contract,
  • sign posting to supportive agencies,
  • issue a Fixed Penalty Notice,
  • court action for poor attendance.

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