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Last reviewed on 1 December 2021
Ref: 43671
School types: All · School phases: All

Find out how to analyse your attendance data to spot patterns in absences for groups of pupils, identify reasons this may be happening and plan your next steps.

Step 1: use your management information system (MIS) to pull the data you need

When you’re gathering attendance data from your MIS, create separate reports for different cohorts of pupils. This is so that you can identify patterns of absence more clearly and work on potential interventions.

Depending on your school’s context, consider separating the data into:

  • Year groups
  • Gender
  • The pupil premium (itself separated into disadvantaged, looked after/post-looked after children, and service children)
  • Pupils with SEND
  • Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils

Once you’ve gathered reports for each cohort, break your attendance data down by week. This serves 2 functions:

  • It helps you build your average picture - which is ultimately more useful than the national statistics, as it reflects your situation
  • It helps you spot absence spikes

Once a spike has been noted, you can pin down exactly which cohort is affected, and work to find an explanation. 

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