Attendance Matters Magazine Issue 28



How are local authorities managing attendance upon the return to school?

Victoria Franklin talks us through the emerging picture for local authority management of attendance post-lockdown.

Bringing them all back: One school’s experience

Emma Meadus explains through case studies the measures taken and the support provided to bring everyone back to school.

Attendance officer working practices: Finding a new path

Joanne Sierzega asks how we can engage and work with children,
parents and families in a meaningful way in the present circumstances.

Attendance issues for SEND pupils returning to school

The transition back to school has not been an easy one for many students. However, students with SEND may have found it particularly difficult. Emily Kempthorne outlines some strategies for supporting them and enabling them to re-engage.

Attendance officers share their experiences

Victoria Franklin has been speaking to some attendance officers about their experiences and highlights a number of issues they’ve been facing as pupils have returned to the classroom.

Understanding ME

ME, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, is often a misunderstood disease, causing those who suffer from it to feel exhausted after a period of exertion. It is thought that viral infections may play a part with implications for diagnosis post-Covid-19. Elizabeth Holmes explains why schools should be cautious in their expectations

Supporting parents when their children are self-harming

School staff have reported that self-harm amongst students is on the increase. It’s a safeguarding concern that can be particularly difficult to understand and deal with. Samantha Garner considers not only what schools can do but what the impact can be on parents too.

Premium Plus Articles

Resilience: are we getting it right?

With the understanding that we need to help students and staff improve their resilience, Samantha Garner cautions against thinking about it as being within the student and within us as a mindset.

Reviewing your approach to behaviour

Suzanne O’Connell outlines the DfE’s advice and the practical measures can schools take to keep behaviour in check.


Q. I have read the new Attendance Guidance and Annexe from the DfE and I am confused as to why a pupil has an ‘X’ code (which isn’t an absence) when they have symptoms and are awaiting a Covid-19 test, but when they have a confirmed positive test they are marked as an ‘I’ code (which is an absence).

Q. We were expecting a child in reception to start on 4 September but when they did not arrive, we contacted the parents and they informed us that, as their child isn’t yet five, they are not taking up the place. The child is five in February, so how should we code their absence?

Q. A Traveller family moved to a different area earlier in March. They have no set plan to come back as they ‘want to see what happens with the virus’. Mum is saying that she has a temporary school place for her children in their vicinity and wants them dual registered. She has said that the school should be using the ‘T’ code as her extended family is working in the area. Is this correct or should the school expect that the children take up their places by a set date and then remove them from roll?

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About Author

Dr Suzanne O'Connell

Dr Suzanne O’Connell is a freelance writer specialising in education. She is also the Managing Editor of Attendance Matters Magazine. Prior to this she taught for 23 years and was a headteacher of a junior school in Nuneaton for 11 years.

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