School leaders and governors aren’t expected to know the answer to every question, and we know there’s plenty of question on your mind. That’s why, through a subscription to TheSchoolBus, you have access to our question and answer service, where our dedicated research team are on hand to answer any questions you have.

Our research team conduct extensive research to find you the answer you need – we’ll read through any relevant guidance or legislation, liaise with our sector specialists and contact other organisations, such as the DfE, ICO and HSE, to make sure we have all the necessary information to answer your questions.

To showcase the wonderful work our research editors do, we decided to give away the answer to our most popular question of the week!

Monday 19 February

Our question of the week is: How does Ofsted define good attendance when inspecting schools?

Take a look at our answer below:

In terms of what Ofsted would define as good or better attendance when conducting inspections, our Ofsted expert advised that 96 percent is the key indicator of good attendance (the current national average), but schools must monitor the attendance of all key groups using the relevant figure tables.1

In light of the above, our governance expert, Nicki Wadley, further advised that Ofsted consider the attendance statistics for a school and national averages (relevant to the specific school type, e.g. a primary school), and will also use these as an indicator of good attendance.2

As well as using statistical information, Ofsted will also consider a school’s approach towards improving and tackling poor attendance, and will therefore use procedures as well as figures to decide on a school’s overall attendance performance. Our Ofsted Expectations of Pupil Attendance guidance document explains what Ofsted look for when assessing attendance.


1 Ofsted Expert (2017) (Email communication regarding attendance percentages) [Personal communication: 8 September 2017]

2 Nicki Wadley (2017) (Personal communication regarding Ofsted’s expectations of attendance) [Personal communication: 6 September 2017]


What else did we answer last week?

  • What should primary schools consider prior to conducting dissections in lessons?
  • Can teachers use films with a higher age rating than the pupils watching them for educational purposes in the classroom?
  • Do employees’ contracts have a ‘cooling off period’?
  • Can a school insist that a pupil’s attendance improves before they are placed on the SEN register?
  • How is high needs and resourced provision funding allocated in maintained schools? 


To learn more about our QA service and our in-house production process that makes us so popular, take out a free, no obligation trial today -