School attendance has improved in Nottingham for the sixth year in row.

Overall absence has fallen over the last six academic years in Nottingham, from 7.2% in 2009/10 to 4.9% in 2014/15.

New attendance statistics for the 2015 autumn term have been published by the Department of Education today (19 May). They show pupil absence continues to improve in the City, with the number of children missing lessons down from 4.6% in Autumn Term 2014 to in 4.3% Autumn Term 2015.

This improvement follows marked progress made last academic year (2014/15) where Nottingham recorded its lowest absence rate in six years, whilst the national rate actually increased.

The gap between Nottingham and national is now the lowest it’s ever been with Nottingham ranked 121st out of 152 LAs. To finish the first term ranked 112th shows that we are making great progress for this academic year.

The council has been cracking down on pupil absence and these figures show that the consistent focus is really working. Schools and academies are also doing more to celebrate good attendance and offer more attendance incentives to pupils.

Last year pupils with the best attendance were given prizes at a special Lord Mayor’s Awards. The event is back this year and pupils with the best or most improved attendance are off to a celebration at Harvey Hadden. Nottingham City Council also teamed up with Capital FM for the second year to run an award winning campaign with secondary students to help improve attendance rates. The class from each school with the best attendance record got the chance to go to a top secret gig and watch British rapper Professor Green.

Councillor Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills in Nottingham, said: “Congratulations to all the pupils, parents and schools across the City for their hard work and focus on good attendance. Partners across the city have really come together to crack down on school absence and celebrate good attendance. There results show that that this is making a difference.

“Nottingham is narrowing the gap in absence rates with the rest of the UK. Schools and academies, pupils and parents deserve recognition for their great work but there is still more work to do as we are still behind the national average.”

Nottingham City Council – as part of its work with the Education Improvement Board – has been working in partnership with schools and academies to focus on better attendance in schools. Since 2014, a zero tolerance campaign has been run each year, making it clear that the council will take legal action against the parents of pupils who are persistently absent. Early this month (May 2016) truancy patrols were held across the city, with 45 children stopped and spoken to by CPSOs and Education Welfare Officers.

Cllr Webster added: “We’ve taken a tough approach, and it’s working. We’ve cracked down on poor attendance and rewarded good attendance through the Lord Mayor’s Awards – as well as trying innovative campaigns such as the Get the Gig competition for secondary schools. But our message remains clear: we expect children who are registered with a school to be in school.”

Fines of £60 per parent per child are issued through the courts for unauthorised absence. If this is not paid in 21 days, the fine doubles to £120 per parent, per child. If the fine is still unpaid, courts can impose tougher fines (with court costs) of up to £2,500 – and even have the power to issue prison sentences.

Cllr Webster added: “We know that the majority of parents act responsibly to ensure their children are in school when they should be; we also recognise that some children are educated at home. However, the vast majority of Nottingham pupils receive a school education, and it is vital that we tackle those who are breaking the law.

“Even a pupil with 90% attendance is effectively missing one day of school every two weeks. In the working world, that’s almost a month of absence every year. If a child misses 17 days of school, it has been proved to be the difference between getting one higher grade at GCSE level.”

  • Parents can help their child’s attendance at school by:
  • Making sure their child gets to school on time
  • Not booking holidays during term time
  • Contacting the school the first day a child is off sick.

More help and advice on attendance is available from