Addressing Attendance Issues

"We’ve had good results in terms of improving achievement and attendance. Without the insight of attitudinal surveys, some students would probably not have achieved so much. PASS provides us with a good indicator which enables us to put into place preventative measures to support and guide our students."
Linda Cooledge, the assistant head teacher at Ysgol Brynhyfryd in Denbighshire

Attendance is an ongoing challenge faced by many educationalists and, for those pupils who regularly miss class, progress and attainment can be hampered long-term. Changes in thinking and attitudes can sometimes precede changes in behaviour. It is important to recognise that a pupil's attitudes can deteriorate before their attendance does, highlighting the importance of identifying and tackling such an issue early.

PASS provides a direct measure of attitudes to attendance which can be used to explore retention issues. The correlation between student attitudes to attendance and actual attendance in a learning institution 12 months later is 0.9, which offers the possibility of genuine early intervention - identifying students whose attitudes are becoming more negative before the worst happens and reducing the associated risk of withdrawal from the learning setting. As a result, teachers can intercede much earlier to design specific intervention strategies to reduce the likelihood of truancy and school refusal in the future.

PASS can also play an important role in uncovering the causes of school refusal, truancy and low levels of attendance for those pupils who miss class regularly, helping teachers, sometimes working in collaboration with their educational social worker or welfare officer, to design preventative and supportive measures. The overall PASS profile details other factors which may lead to dropout including, for example, a curriculum mismatched to the needs of the student, limited aspiration, low connectedness to the learning environment itself, an inability to engage with lesson content, poor relationships with teaching staff and negative self-worth.