This research explores the link between pupils' perceived control and their level of attendance in school. Whilst there is research into the link between perceived control and disaffection in pupils it has not been possible to identify any research which links school non-attendance to perceived control. Research into pupils' reasons for non-attendance identified a range of different factors, many of which the author felt could be attributed to perceived control. Forty-one participants took part in the study. Participants were male and female year nine pupils at two secondary schools in the north west of England. Participants were grouped according to their levels of attendance as high (98%+) attenders, mid-range attenders (90-94%) and low (below 80%) levels of attendance. Participants' levels of perceived control were measured using the Multi-dimensional Measure of Children's Perceptions of Control (MMCPC) (Connell 1985). This research also explored the pupils' experiences of school using appreciative inquiry. Responses on the MMCPC were analysed using a one way ANOVA and descriptive statistics. No significant differences were found between scores for each of the attendance groups and the reasons for this are discussed. Thematic analysis of focus groups with an appreciative inquiry structure identified key themes raised by pupils in regard to positive experiences in school. The findings for both parts of the research are discussed and suggestions for the implications for future research and the practice of teachers and educational psychologists supporting attendance in school are made.