Education Welfare Service

Schools' and academies' responsibilities include:

  • applying effective systems to encourage regular school attendance and investigate the primary causes of poor attendance. These should be clearly specified within the school/academy attendance policy. Our Promoting Good School Attendance Practice Guide includes a model attendance policy for schools/ academies to adapt to their setting

  • making sure there is a clear growth of staged interventions in the school/academy. They need to be clearly understood by all teaching and non-teaching staff, pupils and parents

  • setting annual attendance targets

  • identifying an appropriate senior member of staff with overall management for attendance in the school/academy - attendance leader

  • complying with statutory regulations regarding admissions and attendance registration, and relevant legislation. This includes the need to maintain accurate attendance and admission registers. They need to be in accordance with The Education (Pupil Registration - England) Regulations 2006

  • completing and sending statutory returns to the Education Welfare Service. They are in relation to every pupil who has ‘20+ sessions of continuous unauthorised absence’. Every pupil who fails to attend the school regularly. Locally agreed as ‘20+ sessions absence, authorised and unauthorised’ on a half termly basis. Academies who do not have a service level agreement with the education welfare service should let us know. Maintained schools should inform their education welfare officer

  • pupils missing out data collection (pupils who are on a school roll who are on a reduced provision). All schools and academies must complete the pupils missing out half termly returns. This is an Ofsted requirement (report published November 2013). This should not include children that are known to be on holiday or children classed as CME

  • completing and returning attendance information to the Education Welfare Service for looked after children and other vulnerable groups of pupils. For example those with statements of special educational needs and disabilities

  • devising a system for relevant staff to identify, share information, and address attendance concerns at individual pupil level

  • undertaking regular analysis of attendance patterns (individual, year group and cohort levels) to identify potential persistent absentees

  • following the council's Children Missing from Education Policy. They must complete and return children missing education (CME) forms to the CME officer. This must happen as soon as they're aware of a pupil leaving the school/academy, area, county or country. They will obtain detailed information about their destination and address from the parent or carer

  • undertaking a written agreement with other schools/academies and alternative education providers specifying clear roles and responsibilities. Looking at registration, sharing attendance and absence information and following up absence for dual registration

  • following the council’s policy regarding elective home education. Provide immediate information to EWS regarding parental or carers’ intention to electively home educate

  • liaising with and responding to EWS regarding information about child employment and children in entertainment

Encouraging regular school attendance

"We support schools and academies to implement systems, procedures and staged interventions to encourage regular school attendance".

For more information