While there are difficulties in collecting reliable data, there is a growing body of evidence indicating that disaffection among pupils, particularly in years 10 and 11, is growing. Does this matter? Yes. Absence from school for any reason has a negative effect on attainment. Non-attenders jeopardize their future opportunities and are denied the possibility of developing enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence through school achievement. They are also at risk in the community and vulnerable to the temptations of alcohol, drugs and crime. In addition to the consequences for pupils, schools have an interest in promoting high levels of attendance to improve achievement, satisfy the requirements of OFSTED and create a good impression in the 'market'. This paper examines the causes and effects of truancy and discusses how school attendance can be improved.