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Improving school attendance is an absolute priority for the Children’s Commissioner. Children are offered the best start to further their ambitions, relationships and learning when they are in school.

However, despite the importance of being in school, following the pandemic school absence rates have become stuck at crisis levels. Last year, over 1 in 5 children were persistently absent, meaning they missed on average at least a day a fortnight in school.

In the Attendance Audit, the Children’s Commissioner talked to hundreds of children who are regularly absent from school. Children aren’t absent from school because they don’t want to learn. They are desperate to learn yet everyday thousands of children find themselves without the support that they need to engage in education.

Attendance needs to be everybody’s business – all agencies involved in supporting children must make tackling school absences their priority.

Download the full briefing below.

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