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High levels of absenteeism in Norwegian schools

Fafo will produce a knowledge overview of high absenteeism from school. The overview will say something about the causes of high absenteeism, the prevalence of absenteeism and changes over time, and about measures that work when it comes to reducing absenteeism.

High absenteeism among pupils in primary and secondary schools is increasingly a concern for schools and school owners, the educational-psychological service, state administrators and sector organisations. High levels of absenteeism can lead to teachers not being able to grade and pupils not being awarded diplomas, which can have significant consequences for their further education and working life. Absence and dropout are also closely linked. At the same time, school is an arena for development and socialization, which is important for forming friendships, security and a sense of belonging. In the extreme, high absenteeism can be the first step in a long-term alienation from working life and society.

In this project, Fafo will collate previous research and other knowledge in the field of absenteeism into a knowledge status on the high absenteeism at school. The project will say something about the causes of absenteeism, the spread of absenteeism and changes over time, and measures that work when it comes to reducing absenteeism. In addition, we will assess the strengths and weaknesses of terms used in the literature.

Based on the knowledge overview, we will discuss possible measures at the national level to reduce absence from school in the short and long term. A better knowledge base for the design of new measures is an important aim of the project. However, an updated state of knowledge will also help to strengthen research in the field by identifying areas where there is a need for more knowledge related to absence from school.

Researchers

Project period

  • Start:
    November 2022
  • End:
    April 2023

Commissioned by

  • The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training

Sustainable<br>development goals