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Student Attendance Rate

Indicator Phrasing

% of enrolled students attending school in the given time period
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: % of enrolled students attending school in the given time period

French: % d'élèves inscrits à l'école dans la période donnée

Portuguese: % de alunos matriculados que frequentam a escola no período de tempo determinado

Czech: % zapsaných studentů, kteří v daném období chodí do školy

What is its purpose?

The student attendance is a key prerequisite for effectiveness of any education intervention. The indicator compares the proportion of students present in school during the year to the number of children enrolled (disaggregated). The attendance is measured during spot check visits on a given number of days in a semester/ school year.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Keeping a daily record of student attendance is among teachers' and school administrators’ duties. However, in reality, the attendance data are often over- or under-reported. If you can rely on the available school records, use them. Otherwise, assess the attendance rate by using headcounts based on the following methodology:


1) At the beginning of the school year, collect the student enrolment data, divided by classes, from the school administration.


2) Perform a student headcount during surprise spot checks in target schools. You should do at least 3 surprise spot checks throughout the year/ semester, always focusing on the same classes. Increase the frequency if working in emergency contexts, capacity permitted. 


3) Calculate the average number of students present during your monitoring visits (e.g. 300 students present during the first visit, 250 during the second visit, 350 during the third visit - the average is 300 students).


4) To calculate the overall attendance rate, divide the average number of students present during your monitoring visits in a given period by the number of students enrolled in the monitored classes. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.

Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by gender and specific vulnerable groups, such as minorities or children with disability.

Important Comments

1) Attendance rate is prone to significant seasonal differences. Do your best to collect baseline and endline data in the same months (or even weeks) of a year; otherwise it is very likely that they will not be comparable.


2) The schools should be encouraged to collect reliable student attendance data. Always share your surprise spot check attendance data (headcount) with the school administration and the teachers.


3) Selection of specific days for spot checks should take into account weekends, holidays, and seasonal and other factors affecting regular attendance (e.g. harvest season in rural areas, local festivals and celebrations, Ramadan, etc.).


4) The spot checks should be performed in all target schools (using only sample schools is not recommended) as the situation in individual schools can significantly vary.


This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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