Attendance and Students' School Experience

December 10, 2007
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Attendance and Students' School Experiences, commissioned by the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB), examines the characteristics of poor attenders in second-level education; the relationship between school organisation and climate and attendance patterns; and the impact of attendance behaviour while at school on later educational and labour market experiences. The main findings of the study are: Young men are more likely to 'skip school', which raises broader concerns over male underachievement and the need to address poor attendance as a means of partially addressing such underachievement. Social class differences in attendance are also prominent, again pointing to the need to target attendance behaviours early in a young person's schooling as a means of addressing wider social class inequalities in educational outcomes. School organisation and ethos can make a difference to student attendance. In particular, students appear to respond to positive interaction with teachers and to teacher expectations in terms of their attendance levels. Poor attendance while at school has implications in the short term in terms of school completion. Furthermore, in the longer term poor attenders are less likely to progress to further study and face greater difficulty in accessing paid employment after leaving school