New Government Measures to Tackle Student Absence: Daily Attendance Sharing and Fine Reforms Unveiled


The Department for Education (DfE) in England has announced that every state school will now share their daily attendance registers with the DfE, councils, and trusts. This move aims to reduce pupil absence in schools. The sharing of registers will create a new attendance dataset to help schools identify and support children displaying “worrying trends” of persistent absence or those at risk of becoming missing in education, according to the DfE.


These reforms, revealed on 29 February, mark the next phase in the Government’s plan to improve attendance following the pandemic, which has witnessed a rise in absence and persistent absence. A report by the Education Committee in September 2023 highlighted an overall absence rate of 7.6% in the 2021/22 academic year, up from around 4-5% pre-pandemic. Additionally, 22.5% of pupils were ‘persistently absent’, missing 10% or more of school sessions—double the pre-pandemic rate. The DfE also announced that fines for unauthorised absences will be brought under a national framework. Parents may face fines if a child misses five days of school without authorisation, with costs increasing from £60 to £80 if paid within 21 days and from £120 to £160 if paid within 28 days, as stated by the Government.


Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said, “Improving attendance is my number one priority,” acknowledging the collaboration with teachers and heads to boost attendance and emphasising the increasing value of being in school.


More on the Government initiative can be found here:



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