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How to Become a School Attendance Officer

Looking to become a school attendance officer? Follow our guide to find out what you’ll need!

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Step 1: Learn about a school attendance officer's role and responsibilities

As a school attendance officer you’ll have a number of responsibilities revolving around children’s attendance and dealing with any issues that might arise, you could:

  • Liaise with pupils, parents, and school staff to both identify and deal with potential attendance issues.
  • Make home visits to parents and pupils, as well as meeting in school to provide ongoing help.
  • Help families to receive any benefits that they’re entitled to, including things like free school meals, transport, and clothing that can have an impact on school life. 
  • Make referrals to other organisations that might be able to help support a struggling children and families such as social services, health professionals, educational psychologists, or the careers service.
  • Remind parents of their legal responsibilities in making sure their child is in education until 16 years of age and taking action as required.  
  • Handle educational arrangements for excluded pupils.
  • Deal with administrative work like sending letters, as well as writing up both case notes and preparing court reports.
  • Advise on child protection issues as well as prepare reports on children with special educational needs.

When you'll be working

As a school attendance officer you’re going to be working in school term times.

What does a school attendance officer earn?

The lower end salary for a school attendance officer is around £19,907 but depending on your region and experience you could be earning more or less. An experienced school attendance officers salary can be around £27,300. The average salary is about £21,938.

How can you progress as a school attendance officer?

School administration career progression

If you want to know how you could progress, take a look at some of our other career advice pages and find out what you’ll need to get where you want to be!

Step 2: Improve your chances of getting a position as a school attendance officer

If you’re comfortable with the responsibilities of being a school attendance officer, then you’ll need to ensure that you have all of the necessary skills and qualifications for the position and understand what exactly you can do to help yourself get started in an educational setting.

You’ll need to meet the requirements for the job role, as well as the more specific requirements that many organisations have for their potential employees which can vary from job to job. There are a few things that you can do to improve your chances when you’re looking to enter a career in educational.

To get into a position as a school attendance officer you could first work as an assistant school attendance or welfare officer where you’ll do training on the job. To get one of these roles you’ll usually need to have experience working with children and young people, an A* to C grade at GCSE level in English and Maths or equivalent, as well as 1 or 2 A Levels. Similarly you could look into an apprenticeship in the position, but you’ll probably need 4 or 5 GCSEs at A* to C. Having a degree in a subject like education, social, or care work could be another way of getting a position as a school attendance officer. 

If you don’t have either one or both of your English and Maths GCSEs you should look at taking either a Level 2 Functional Skills English course or Level 2 Functional Skills Maths course. A functional skills qualification is equivalent to having your GCSE qualification at this level, and can help you get into a wide range of jobs, not just in education.

Which qualifications do you need to become a school attendance officer?

If you’re going to be working in a school then it’s important that you have the knowledge you’ll need to succeed in a learning environment. The Level 2 Support Work in Schools and Colleges qualification will help you understand your responsibilities, as well as how schools and colleges function as institutions. Having this qualification will make you more employable as a support worker in education and will remain relevant in any other position you might progress to in a learning environment.

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Need a little something extra for your CV? Our Level 2 Safeguarding Course will be perfect for you! Get the knowledge you need to excel in a school setting.

Get some supporting qualifications valuable to the job

Though not essential, having supporting qualifications can really improve your chances of getting the position that you want and help you to stand out among other applicants. Getting your supporting qualifications will let you demonstrate additional knowledge that other candidates might not have.

For a school attendance officer there are a number of supporting qualifications that could be helpful. A safeguarding and prevent course is going to equip you with the knowledge you need to help safeguard the children and young people you’ll be caring for which is a hugely important part of the job. Employers, as well as parents, are going to feel confident knowing you have the knowledge you need to support the organisation’s safeguarding responsibilities to a higher level.

In any work with children, it’s important that you have a first aid qualification in case of minor injuries that they might end up with. Depending on the employer you might be given the option to receive this training before starting work but having the qualification beforehand can help put you ahead.

You could also look into a qualification in understanding autism. Having a greater understanding of autism and how it affects children could be very beneficial depending on the children you’ll be working with. Even if you’re not working in a specialised setting, having the knowledge is likely going to help in your position as autism affects 1 in 100 people in the UK, which could include some of the children you’re going to be caring for.

How to get experience as a school attendance officer

As a school attendance officer it will be useful for you to get some experience in related areas such as in working with children or young people and families. If you can’t find a job in one of these areas you could look at local volunteering opportunities that can help. You might volunteer anywhere from a school to a local youth group, but wherever you volunteer it’s important to make sure the experience is going to be relevant to the job you’re planning on. Checking out our jobs board is a great way to start searching for the experience you need!

Typical weekly hours

As a school attendance officer you could be working around 35 hours a week depending on your school and responsibilities.

Step 3: Make sure your school attendance officer CV is up-to-date

You should make sure your CV includes your most up-to-date information, including any relevant qualifications and work experience you might’ve gained since you last updated it. Since we all know first impressions are important, and your CV is more often than not going to be the first thing potential employers will see, it’s essential that they’re done right.
To make the best impression you can, you’ll need to convey the right information and present it well. Given how important your CV is, we’ve created a short guide to help give you the best chance of landing an interview and starting your career in early years!

Top school attendance officer CV writing tips

When you’re looking at a position as a school attendance officer, it’s crucial that your CV is high quality and reflects your passion for the role. An effective CV is well presented, displays relevant skills and experience, and gives your potential employers an insight into who you are. 

It’s important that you use grammar correctly, that your writing is concise but informative, and any non-relevant information is left out. Not following these rules could mean your application is rejected, since employers could see it as too unprofessional. Our school attendance officer CV writing tips are here to help you to land that position you’ve been waiting for!

1. Grab their attention with a personal profile

Your personal profile is the first section of your CV that employers will read to find out more about you. This is your chance to introduce yourself, sell your skills and outline your characteristics. Personal profiles are a perfect way to persuade recruiters, as it tells them straight off why they should hire you. 

This section can include relevant experience and achievements, but it’s important to tailor this to the job description and what’s prioritised there to show your enthusiasm for the role and that you’re a serious candidate for the position who has what they’re looking for. 

There are no set rules on the length of this section but you should aim for a few short sentences and no longer than 100 words. This way you can keep it concise and effectively highlight who you are to employers without giving them too much information, increasing the chances of them reading through the rest of your CV and considering you for the job. Make sure you’re putting your best foot forward and presenting the things that you think make yourself stand out.

Talk about yourself (when it's relevant)

Though your CV should be more focused on your skills and work experience rather than your personality, it can be good to include some relevant personal information such as your hobbies in your CV. What counts as relevant will vary from job to job.

2. Sell your skills

There should be a section in your CV that outlines your relevant skills. This makes it easy for the employer to read and more easily determine if you meet the requirements of the role. You should format this section using bullet points so that it’s simple and easy for employers to read. Make sure to include relevant skills that you think make you a good candidate for the position. Such as:

  • Being punctual and having great organisational skills that you can bring to the job
  • Be able to work well with children, as well as being outgoing and be able to communicate well, especially when dealing with potential issues and outside organisations
  • Experience working with various IT systems you could be using in your work

If you’re struggling to think of skills that are relevant to the job then it’s a good idea to check vacancy advertisements for some ideas. Start off by rereading the job you’re applying for and what might be useful to mention, but if you’re still stuck then take a look at other similar job postings. You should also think about which of your skills have been helpful in any of your past work or study. 

It’s important when talking about your skills to try and include both hard and soft skills, so that you can show some variety. Hard skills are the skills you gain through experience, knowledge, or learning such as through a qualification or after undertaking training. Soft skills refer to your personal traits and habits that determine how you work, like being an effective communicator, able to work in a team, or organisational skills.

3. Outline your experience

You should outline any past experiences in either work or volunteer positions that are relevant to becoming a forest school leader and can best show your potential employer the value that you’d be bringing to the position. 

The most valuable experience you can have as a school attendance officer is working in that position before and, if you have it, is something you should present front and centre. You can also mention previous experiences in education or administration that might be relevant to the role. Give details of where you worked, including the dates you started and finished your employment (these don’t have to be specific, usually the month and year are fine), alongside your key responsibilities within the role. If you have a lot of relevant experience then list it from most to least recent. Employers will want to know more of what you’ve been doing recently, rather than years ago, as it’s more relevant to the jobs you’ll be applying for now.

If you have no relevant experience then you should include any previous employment you’ve been in and the transferable skills you gained that will be useful in the role. Try and think about any similarities between your previous positions and the one you’re applying for. Is there anything listed on the job advertisement that sounds familiar?

4. List your education and qualifications

Making sure you mention your education clearly on your CV is very important, as it will show that you have the knowledge and qualifications needed for the job. When listing your qualifications you should prioritise two things: the level of the qualification (is it a degree or a GCSE?) and when you received it. Much like your experience, it’s best to list your qualifications from your most to least recent.

When you’re listing your qualifications make sure you include the name of the institution, the dates you attended them from, the subject(s) you studied or name of the qualification, as well as the final grade you received. If there’s a particular aspect of your study that is very relevant to the position you’re applying to then it would be a good idea to briefly mention it at some point.

Include your certificates and other qualifications

Don’t think you just need to include your experiences from school or university, things like standalone courses that award you with a certificate or diploma are more than relevant, especially if they cover a subject that’s relevant to your work. Add your certificates in the same way you’d add your other qualifications, providing any additional information as needed.

5. Remember to include your contact details

It might seem obvious, but having your contact details clearly signposted on your CV is extremely important, without them potential employers may have no way to contact you. You should include your up-to-date email, phone number, and address somewhere near the top of your CV so that they don’t get lost amongst the rest of your information.

Example school attendance officer CV

School Attendance Officer CV

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Struggling to put your CV together? Download our free CV template and get a head start on making a fantastic CV. Make sure to follow the rest of our tips and learn how to land that job you’ve always wanted!

Step 4: Search for school attendance officer jobs you can apply for

Searching for a school cleaner position should be simple, and shouldn’t be any different than finding any other job you’ve applied for before. Make sure that the positions you apply for are a good fit for you and that you have all the necessary qualifications and you should have no trouble! Checking out our job board could be a good start for your search.

Step 5: Write a job-specific school attendance officer personal statement or cover letter

You should write your cover letter using the job description of the vacancy you’re applying for. Your cover letter is an important part of many job applications. 

No matter what kind of job you’re applying for, your cover letter is going to help demonstrate to potential employers the passion that you have for the role and allow you to sell yourself as a valuable candidate that they need to consider hiring. 

Top school attendance officer cover letter writing tips

Cover letters are your chance to really sell yourself to a prospective employer and progress to the next stage of the hiring process. This opportunity isn’t always fully exploited by candidates, and sometimes cover letters just become reworked CVs or are poorly planned and formatted.

1. What should a school attendance officer cover letter look like?

The header of your cover letter should have your up-to-date email, contact number, and the current date, as well as the recipient’s contact information. You should start your cover letter with a greeting such as “Dear [Company] Hiring Manager” or “Dear Mr/Ms Surname”, if you know who you’ll be contacting directly.

When choosing your font you need to make sure it’s not only easy to read but also looks professional, as well as the right size. Try to stick between a size 10pt-12pt font on your cover letter, as making your font size too big could come across unprofessionally, but it should still be clear and legible. Make sure to split the main body of text into multiple paragraphs, this not only makes it easier to read but also easier to plan the structure of your cover letter (each paragraph might have a specific topic, for example). 

It’s a good idea to sign off your cover letter using your name and a complimentary close. Using “Yours Sincerely” or “Your Faithfully” are seen as very formal, but can sometimes appear outdated, try using “Kind Regards” as a formal alternative that is still professionally acceptable.

2. What should I write in my school attendance officer cover letter?

Here are some suggestions for each of the paragraphs in your cover letter and what you might want to mention to your prospective employer: 

We are interactive boxes, hover over us! 

We are interactive boxes, tap us! 

First paragraph


Start by explaining why you're writing the letter, making sure to mention the job you're interested in by its specific title, you could also mention where you saw or heard about the vacancy. Give a brief sentence stating your experience or a relevant qualification. 

Second paragraph

Experience and Qualifications

Highlight your relevant experience or qualifications. Talk about relevant responsibilities you had in previous roles, and go into more detail about how this makes you suitable for the role--is there a particular achievement you're proud of in your previous work or study that is relevant to the job? Mention it here!

Third paragraph


Discuss the skills you have that are relevant to the job and make sure that you mention how they make you well-suited for the role. Always be showing the employer what you have to offer them if they were to hire you. 

Final paragraph

Final note

Reiterate your interest in the role. Outline your motivations for not only working this type of job but why you want to work for this employer. It's a good idea to include some relevant knowledge about your potential employer, as it shows you are taking an extra interest.  

3. How can I make my cover letter unique for each role I apply for?

A good way of making your cover letter stand out from other candidates is by tailoring it to the particular role you’re applying for. It’s always easiest to look back through the job posting and pick out relevant information like the job title and employer and making sure to mention them early on. This will show your employer that your cover letter is tailored towards them, rather than being something generic you’re sending around to every employer.

When you’re going through the job posting take note of the specific skills and experience listed as desirable by the employer, you can tailor the skills and experience you mention to what they’re looking for. Try not to follow along too closely and risk looking like you’ve just copied the advertisement, but do enough to show that you’re the ideal candidate. Order your skills, experience, and qualifications in order of relevancy–what’s highlighted or mentioned first in the job posting? Is there something very specific that they’re looking for? Make sure you bring it up!

4. Finishing touches

Now that your cover letter is well-formatted, has the main body of it’s content written, and has been tailored to the job role, it’s time to put the finishing touches to your work.

Proofread what you’ve written a few times over to check for punctuation or grammar errors and how well your writing flows. Try and enlist the help of a friend or relative to give it a read over, they may spot something you missed!

Now you should go back to the job vacancy and re-read all of it. Check if there are any special instructions you should follow when applying for the position, like if they’re asking for the documents to be submitted as a particular file type or maybe want you to add a job reference number to your cover letter. Make any of the changes you need and ensure everything’s in order. Overlooking small things like this could ruin your otherwise perfect cover letter!

Example school attendance officer cover letter

School attendance officer cover letter

Download our Cover Letter Template and Make Yours Today!

Struggling to put your cover letter together? Download our free cover letter template and get a head start on writing an amazing cover letter. Make sure to follow the rest of our tips and learn how to land that job you’ve always wanted!

Step 6: Prepare for interviews

We all know that job interviews can be nerve-wracking, but being well prepared for the interview will help you to appear calmer and more confident. It might seem obvious, but make sure that you always present yourself professionally at interviews, dress well, and always be polite. First impressions can make or break your chances!

Interviews can be daunting and hard to prepare for–especially if you don’t have much experience–but we’re here to help you out. 

We’ve compiled a list of common questions that you might be asked in your interview for a school attendance officer job and how you should go about answering them, as well as some questions you can ask your interviewer to help show your interest in the position!

Questions your interviewer might ask

Your motivations

Interviewers will want to hear about your motivations for getting into education, it’s good to be honest about your why you want the job and to show your potential employer that you genuinely care. Even though you won’t be in a teaching position, you’ll be potentially having a big impact on the lives of the children and young people you work with.

Again, this is a personal question so have a think about what it is that you actually enjoy about the role and be honest about it, interviewers are going to value people who show some passion. You might want to mention the positive impact that you’re hoping to have through your work.

Think about the role of a school attendance officer and how you’ll be impacting the children and young people, as well as the families, you’ll be working with. Try and centre your response around how you’ll be benefiting the school and its students.

Your personal approach to the role

Schools will want to know that you’re going to handle situations like this in an appropriate manner. Make sure that you understand the proper regulations and guidelines for handling these issues and demonstrate your knowledge of the correct procedures you have to go through. 

Try to read up on school policy before your interview so you can give the most relevant answer that you can. Your interviewer could also ask you about specific scenarios like reporting an absence, etc. so it’s even more important you understand proper policy.

If you have experience working as a school attendance officer or a similar role giving examples from your previous work would be ideal. If you are having trouble structuring your answers use the STAR method to keep things concise and focused.

As a school attendance officer, you’re going to be handling sensitive information about the children and young people that you’ll be working with so it’s important you have a good understanding of data protection and your responsibilities regarding it. 

It’s a good idea to read up on data protection law and how you should treat private data in a position like this if you don’t already know. Employers will want to know you’ll handle responsibilities like disposing of people’s private data correctly. 

Qualifications and experience

As a school attendance officer you’re going to need to work with a school’s attendance monitoring system, most commonly SIMS, on a routine basis. It’s important to employers that you know how to operate these systems, so you should emphasise any experience you have with them. 

If the school uses a different system than you’re used to, or if you don’t have much experience, talk about your willingness and ability to learn the new system instead.

If you’re searching for your first position as a qualified school attendance officer, make note of any prior experience you have in a related position or what your studies have taught you that would be useful as a school attendance officer. 

If you’re coming to the interview with some experience in the role then talk about any particular achievements or challenges that you’ve overcome while working. Try and highlight anything that will help you to stand out amongst other interviewees.

In your work as a school attendance officer you’ll be working with both the staff in other parts of the school as well as with external agencies. Interviewers will want to know you’ll be comfortable working with both.

You might be required to work collaboratively depending on the issues that come up with students, from working with teachers to dealing with legal proceedings. Talk about any past experience you have in similar situations, as long as it’s relevant to the job. Detail what exactly you’ve worked on and the positive impact that you had on the process. 

Questions for you to ask your interviewer

Reading through some of our common questions should help get you in the right headspace for your interview, but don’t stop here–have a think about what kind of questions you could be facing, as well as how you might answer them on your own!

If you’re looking for that next job interview, take a look at our jobs board! You might find your dream school support job.

Now let's recap...

Final note

After reading through our guide, you should be ready to embark on a new career in cleaning with the confidence you need to excel. If you follow our tips then you’ll be more than ready to get the job role you’ve been looking for! Good luck, and if you need any more advice on other career options, don’t forget to take a look through our career advice page

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