The importance of attendance

We take attendance very seriously at King Harold Academy because we believe in the vital relationship between coming to school everyday and a student’s emotional wellbeing, social development and academic achievement.

The correlation between attendance and academic performance is well-documented and is borne out in multiple research studies.  Again and again, they consistently show associations between school absences and academic achievement. Not only this, studies have also shown that students with good attendance are much more likely to experience better physical and mental health, have greater employment prospects and earn more throughout their lives. This is something we want for every member of our school community!

The DfE (Department for Education) is very clear on this as well:

“Missing school for just a few days a year can damage pupils’ chances of gaining good GCSEs”, according to a 2016 DfE report.

The research shows that overall absence had a negative link to attainment, with every extra day missed associated with a lower chance of achieving 5 or more good GCSEs or equivalent, including in English and mathematics, or gaining the gold standard English Baccalaureate (EBacc).

Here is an example of what the data on school attendance and GCSE achievement shows us:

The data is clear and consistent on school attendance. When children are at school more of the time, the chances of them succeeding increases significantly.

Is 90% good enough?

90% might sound high but if your child has 90% attendance this is the equivalent to missing half a day every week. The government class 90% attendance as Persistent Absenteeism. At KHA we aim for students to have at least 97% attendance.

The table below shows what the percentages mean in real terms:

Percentage AttendanceAmount of time off school
98%4 days a year
95%10 days a year
90%Half a day every week
80%1 day off a week and a whole year over from years 7 to 11



Like attendance, good punctuality has a positive impact on achievement. Colleges and Employers will always ask about an applicant’s attendance and punctuality before offering a place/employment.

The figures:

LatenessLost learning over a school year
5 minutes a day3 days lost
10 minutes a day6.5 days lost
15 minutes a day10 days lost
20 minutes a day13 days lost
30 minutes a day19 days lost

With that in mind, we thank you for your support in getting your child into King Harold Academy on time every day. If they are not able to attend due to illness or any other authorised reason, please let the school know as soon as you can and we will support as best we can.

If you would like any further information or support, please contact your child’s form tutor or Head of Year.


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