Planning to improve attendance

Strategic attendance design process

Effective long-lasting improvements to attendance levels are achieved through research, consultation and commitment to implementing the required changes.

A strategic approach means looking at the data, investigating the root causes and taking cost-effective action to address the issues you have found. The following pages support schools through this process.

The strategic attendance design process guides schools through the project management phases: Discover > Define > Decide > Develop > Deliver

Model illustrating stages of a double diamond planning approach.

The Discover stage is about gathering data and listening to others to understand the problem as well as the underlying issues and causes. Done well, it should test assumptions, challenge what seems immediately obvious and reveal symptoms of a more significant problem.

During the Define stage, the school team will unpack the main themes and issues that emerged from the research and evidence collected to define the problem to address. The goal is to establish a clear idea of exactly which problems you want to address.

This phase marks the decision point - you now know what you are going to address. You may have chosen to address a specific issue or cluster of issues related to a particular theme.

In the Develop stage, the school and its community work together to generate as many ideas as possible, in response to the defined problem.

This might include exploring solutions or strategies used for other initiatives, with different cohorts, or in the wider community.

This stage is about finding the idea that meets the stated needs of your community, and your agreed criteria for success. It is about turning this idea into reality, which requires thinking about how things will work, testing prototypes and gaining feedback from the people it will impact most. You'll need to put in place mechanisms for feedback and to monitor the performance of your initiatives so that you can make the required adjustments.

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