Attendance Management System Necessary For Schools

By Jocelyn Levy | 2nd November 2020 | 8 min read

Schools in the UK spend a large amount of public money every year. And at this time of austerity, more than ever, they’re under pressure to ensure value for money in their spending. So, why should they include electronic attendance management in their budget?

Regular school attendance is critical to students’ education from reception through to secondary school. Yet according to the Department for Education 2011 report, 1,184,000 students from primary, secondary and special schools missed 20% of their lessons that year. What’s more, over 430,000 children missed 15% of lessons each year. And this can damage children’s futures.

Automation tools make light work of taking attendance, creating reports, managing school meals and contacting parents.

DfE data shows that students who regularly skip school do poorly in assessments and exams so they are more likely than others to leave school with few or no qualifications. They are also likely to be jobless, homeless and suffer mental health problems.

Truancy is also closely linked with crime. The Audit Commission found that a quarter of young offenders have significant poor school attendance records and most of them progress to become adult offenders. Therefore, attendance is a priority for schools. And good attendance management software can support and make schools’ efforts efficient and effective.

Benefits of electronic school attendance management

School Attendance Management has come a long way from the days of recording and keeping attendance manually, and sending the information to another member of staff for analysis and distribution. This could take days to complete. Even then, analysis results didn’t include needed data for planning effective intervention for truancy problems.

New technology, such as a school attendance management system, has made monitoring attendance and truancy much easier for schools. And it’s more than just a tool for recording attendance.

Schools can use electronic attendance management to track students’ behaviour, progress, and parental engagement. Automation tools make light work of taking attendance, creating reports, managing school meals and contacting parents. For many schools, this has simplified administration and reduced workload.

For parents, the system has made it easy for them to support their children. Teachers can enter information about the students directly into the system or use it alongside their school information management system. They can record good behaviour and report pupils’ achievements to parents when they reach certain milestones.

Parents, on the other hand, can access their children’s daily school record to help them encourage improvement at home. They don’t have to wait for a parents evening to find out how their children are coping at school.

Some systems even allow schools to sync seating plans with key data, such as Maths ability, reading level or any Special Educational Needs (SEN). Schools can then use the seating plans as behaviour management tools to keep an eye on student’s behaviour overtime.

Electronic attendance management systems also reduce the potential of losing or misfiling data. Paper registers are easily lost or misplaced. With electronic school attendance management systems, this is far less likely to happen. And with regular back-ups, schools can reduce the impact of data loss.

There are many reasons for students missing school. Some reasons are by choice and others are beyond their control. The ability to track student attendance and behaviour accurately is key in finding the right solution to support and engage students to help improve their school attendance. And a system that makes this possible, as well as reduces time teachers spend on administration, is certainly value for money.

Related links & news stories:

Telegraph: Truancy rates ‘holding back performance of UK schools’