Schools' and academies' responsibilities include:
- implementing effective systems and procedures for encouraging regular school attendance and investigating the underlying 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.
- ensuring there is a clear escalation of staged interventions in the school/academy, which are clearly understood by all teaching and non-teaching staff, pupils and parents.
- setting annual attendance targets.
- identifying a senior appropriate member of staff with overall responsibility for attendance in the school/academy - attendance leader.
- complying with statutory regulations regarding admissions and attendance registration, and relevant legislation, including the need to maintain accurate attendance and admission registers in accordance with The Education (Pupil Registration - England) Regulations 2006.
- completing and sending statutory returns to the Education Welfare Service in relation to every pupil who has ‘20+ sessions of continuous unauthorised absence’ and 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 to 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 and completing and returning children missing education (CME) forms to the CME officer immediately on awareness of a pupil leaving the school/academy, area, county or country, having obtained 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 regarding 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".