Attendance Matters Magazine Issue 29



Transition and securing good attendance

After two academic years interrupted by lockdowns, Joanne Sierzega identifies how schools can help pupils transfer successfully.

Information gathering by Ofsted

Emma Meadus, headteacher at Coppice Valley Primary School, shares her experiences of a recent Ofsted virtual information-gathering visit and what inspectors wanted to know about attendance.

Parents with poor mental health

Sam Garner gives advice to schools on supporting parents with a mental health condition, to ensure the well-being of the student.

Attendance matters more than ever

The roles and priorities of Ofsted might be changing but this should not reduce the importance of attendance. Tony Powell reminds us how crucial attendance is, with or without Ofsted. 

Separating attendance and absence management

For some schools, the past year has enabled greater insight into the distinctions between attendance and absence management. Victoria Franklin looks at the differences and what we have learnt about them since March 2020.

Supporting EYFS children: One year on

Emma Meadus describes the impact of a disrupted year on our youngest children and her school’s plans to support them into 2021/22.

Attendance: Building Back Better

How can we repair the damage done whilst also improving on what came before? Matt Bromley provides advice for schools and their attendance officers as they take stock and rebuild for the future.

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Reducing persistent absence

In this article, we look at how to identify cases of persistent absence, how to assess why it might be occurring and what interventions can be made to support the pupil in improving attendance over time.

School refusal

This article is based on our experience at CSAWS and will hopefully provide some information, advice and guidance for school staff. As a team of experienced attendance and welfare officers, we frequently work with children, parents, families and schools with cases of school refusal and we are aware of the challenges this area of work presents.  


Q. Can you please clarify what data is used to produce the weekly attendance figures published by the DfE, so that I can be clear what data we need to produce to understand how we compare to the national picture?

Q. As a special school, most of our pupils travel to school in transport provided by the local authority.  There have been a number of incidents this half term where the transport hasn’t been available due to staffing levels linked to Covid-19.  How would we code this absence?

Q. We have a pupil on roll who is dual registered with another school.  It has come to my attention at a recent review meeting that the pupil isn’t attending regularly and has a number of unauthorised absences.  At our school, this would trigger our attendance procedures and we would have referred to the local authority for a penalty notice.  Is it our responsibility to do this or the other school’s?


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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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