Why we are running an attendance campaign

Good attendance at school is really important for Dorset children and young people. It has been shown that there is a clear link between high attendance and educational outcomes, leading to better life opportunities and the best results that an individual can achieve. There are also other benefits to young people’s wellbeing such as nurturing long-lasting friendships, engaging in new activities and enabling young people to be able to develop in a supportive environment. 

The absence rate in Dorset has been above the national average in most of the last 5 years.  The last available data (spring and autumn terms of 2022/23) shows that the Dorset absence rate was 8% which is 1% above national average and has steadily been increasing from previous years.

 We know that many schools are running their own great initiatives in order to boost attendance, but we feel that there is a real benefit in running a unified campaign across the Dorset Council area to amplify messaging.

For this reason, we are rolling out an “in this together” campaign, which will run for the next year and possibly even beyond.  

What’s happening

We understand that for many families, getting their children to attend school can be a real challenge, and many children face significant barriers. We have taken this into consideration when planning our campaign.

The tone will be:

  • supportive and encouraging – with a strong focus on mental health support

It won’t be:

  • critical – we won’t be implying any criticism of parents or carers
  • penalty based - we won’t be mentioning fines throughout
  • patronising we understand that the vast majority of parents understand the importance of school attendance, but for some children attending school is just very difficult

How you can get involved

Display our campaign posters

There are two versions of the poster – one of them is aimed at young people with space for you to personalise. The other is aimed at parents, with links to support available. You can download them yourself and print using the links below, but we will also be posting some to educational settings.

Download the poster aimed at parents 

Download the poster aimed at young people

Display a banner on your school gate

Please let us know if you would like us to print and send you a banner for the gates by emailing catherine.sharpe@dorset council.gov.uk.

In this together banner to print


Talk to us if you're struggling banner to print

Spread the word on social media

Download resources to share: 

  • use them on your school's own social media channels, or share attendance posts from the Dorset Council Facebook page
  • right-click on the images below and select “save as”
We're so happy to see your child in school image to print
In this together image to save
We miss you when you're not in school image of PE teacher holding a football to save
If you're worried, and need support we're here to listen, smiling teacher image to print