Keeping Your Young Person On Track

Showing up for school has a huge impact on a young person’s academic success. Even as young people grow older and more independent, families play a key role in making sure pupils get to school every day and understand why attendance and punctuality is so important for success in school.


  • Pupils should miss no more than a few days of school each year to stay engaged, be successful and on track to achieve their potential each year
  • Arriving to school late, even by 10 minutes, is the equivalent of missing over a week’s learning across the school year
  • Frequent absences can be a sign that a pupil is losing interest in school, struggling with schoolwork or facing some other difficulty.
  • By S3, absenteeism is one of three signs that a pupil may not achieve the SQA results they are capable of and increases the risk that they may not leave school and go in to a positive destination.
  • By S5 and S6, attendance is a better predictor of attainment than test scores.
  • Missing 10%, or 2 days of school a month, over the course of the school year, can drastically affect a young person’s academic success.


Make school attendance and punctuality a priority

  • Talk to your young person about the importance of showing up to school every day.
  • Help your young person maintain daily routines, such as finishing home learning and getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Try not to schedule dental and medical appointments during the school day unless they are emergency ones.
  • Please do not book holidays during term time
  • If your young person must stay home because they are sick, make sure they have asked teachers for resources to make up for this time. They can also access work on Google Classroom, and if in senior school, SQA past papers and Scholar UK.

Help your teen stay engaged

  • Find out if your young person feels engaged by their classes, and feel safe in school
  • Make sure your young person is not missing classes because of peer relationships. If there is an issue with anything at school, please contact their Pupil Support Leader and we will work together to find a solution.
  • Monitor your young person’s academic progress and seek help from your young person’s Pupil Support Leader when necessary.
  • Stay on top of your young person’s social contacts and social media use. Peer pressure can lead to skipping school, while pupils without many friends can feel isolated. Social media can also be a negative influence in how it is used and how often it is used. If possible, ensure phones/tablet/iPads are switched off at night so your young person can get a good night’s sleep and feel rested and ready for learning.
  • Encourage your young person to eat healthily and a balanced diet – good nutrition supports learning.
  • Encourage your young person to join meaningful after-school activities, including sports and clubs. This allows them to meet new people, make friends, reduce isolations, learn new skills and develop their social skills.
  • Notice and support your young person if they are showing signs of anxiety, such as headaches or stomach aches. Listen to their concerns, and if needed, ask school staff for help.

Communicate with the school

  • Know the school’s attendance policy
  • Check on your young person’s attendance to be sure absences are not adding up. If you do receive a text from school to say your young person is not here, please respond to this as soon as you can. Please also discuss this at night with them.
  • Seek help from school staff, other parents, or community agencies if you need support.