An Absence Map can display the names and addresses of all the pupils absent TODAY, within minutes of morning registers closing. They allow your pastoral staff to take a very proactive approach to absence – by literally knocking on doors. Here’s how they work…

Power BI Absence Map for Schools

Why Use an Absence Map?

If you need to keep a close eye on attendance in your school, you will need to understand which pupils are absent and why. In addition you may also want to know where they live. Why might you need to know their location? Because some schools take a very ‘hands-on’ approach to reducing absence by literally knocking on doors (also know as ‘walking buses’), while some schools might suspect that pupils on a certain bus route are more often late than others. Or perhaps that some areas of their catchment area have health (COVID) issues that re preventing pupils from attending school. Whatever the factors for you local area or school catchment, you will want to know all these facts in a timely manner.

What is an Absence Map?

An absence map is a Power BI report, usually a single page but sometimes over several pages, that brings together all the absence information in a single page, and displays the information on a map. There’s an example at the top of this page. Becuase absence map are often used ‘on the road’, it’s important that the map be useable on the smaller screen of an Apple or Android smartphone.

How do we use an Absence map?

In the School Analytics Absence map (illustrated above) we’ve included slicers that allow you to display absences for a specific period of time chosen by the end user (today, last week, this term, autumn term). The absences are displayed for each pupil in a simple table, one line per absence with the reason for absence also displayed. Alongside thie table is a map, with dots representing absent pupils by postcode. Each dot is coloured to indicate the type of absence (for example, I for Illness pupils are represented in green, unauthorised absences are in red, family holidays in yellow). Initially, all types of absence are displayed, but a slicer also allows users to choose only certain types of absence, so you can choose to only show traveller absences, or family holiday (not agreed) absences.

Mobile First

Earlier in this article I mentioned that an Absence Report needs to be as easy to use on mobile devices as on a computer, so in School Analytics we’ve made full use of the mobile view to ensure that the Absence report is very easy to use and legible on any device.

Video Demonstration of an Absence Map