Almost every document relating to schools in the 19th century mentions the problem of consistent pupil attendance. The teacher's salary was related to it - in fact, the teacher's job security depended on keeping the figures up. This record was probably made on the occasion of an Inspector's visit and would have formed a major part of his assessment of the school.
The problem was that children had a part to play in the economic life of the family. At harvest time it was all hands to the pump but there were many other tasks which could keep children away from the classroom at other times - child-minding, housework, working alongside a father, minding cattle or sheep, collecting eggs, apple-picking - the list is endless and tasks like these must have seemed far more important in the short-term to parents struggling to make ends meet.
The 1870s saw the introduction of compulsory education for younger children but secondary education was not compulsory until the 20th century. The presence of 12 year old Elizabeth Guscott would seem to suggest that she was a monitor, paid a tiny salary for helping with the very youngest children. Monitors often went on to become teachers themselves.