Attendance: 'Nudging' parents helps to tackle pupil absence

Sending “nudge” letters to the parents of persistently absent pupils and identifying and addressing specific, individual barriers to attendance are two approaches shown to have positive impact on attendance.

A research review has looked at the findings of 72 studies into interventions aimed at improving pupils’ attendance.

But while there is evidence of positive impact for some approaches, the report, which has been published by the Education Endowment Foundation (2022), says that more research is needed.

The EEF is now to work with the Youth Endowment Fund to fund and trial different approaches to improve attendance and reduce exclusions.

Of the approaches shown to have a positive impact, the review highlights the sending of personalised letters or texts to parents of students who are persistently absent.

These so-called “nudge” letters outline the importance of their child’s attendance to learning and the school community.

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