Understanding attendance

These resources were originally published 9 February 2024.

About the resources

Understanding attendance research review

This resource summarises key research on school attendance from the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) Understanding attendance evidence paper. It outlines evidence‑based strategies that can support school leaders and teachers to understand attendance challenges and strategically plan to improve attendance in their schools.

Schools can use this resource along with the Tell Them From Me (TTFM) and student attendance Scout guide, which shows how the different elements of the new Plan for NSW Public Education that drive attendance can be seen through TTFM reports.

These evidence-based resources complement the suite of resources for schools available on the Attendance matters website. They aim to support school leaders to develop and implement attendance improvement and progress measures in their school’s Strategic Improvement Plans.

Tell Them From Me and student attendance

A guide for using Scout as a tool to identify themes that support student attendance. This guide will provide examples of school-based drivers of attendance and illustrate how to use Scout to make correlations or distinctions between aggregated TTFM data and student attendance. It is designed to assist school leaders to examine their TTFM data as part of their usual attendance planning processes and can be used in conjunction with the department’s Planning to improve attendance resource hub.

Understanding attendance: A review of the drivers of school attendance and best practice approaches

This resource is an evidence paper that synthesises the research on student attendance and identifies key factors that influence attendance. It explains why attendance is important, and outlines evidence-based strategies to improve attendance.


  • Research report
  • Student engagement and wellbeing

Business Unit:

  • Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
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