Attendance Matters Magazine Issue 30



How to engage students who see no point in school

Dr. Pooky Knightsmith discusses how we can help students feel that school is a place they want to be.

Effective partnerships with hospital provision

Victoria Franklin interviews staff at Bristol Hospital Education Service to discover how mainstream schools can best work with them.

Reviewing your approach to behaviour

Suzanne O’Connell reviews new DfE guidance on behaviour and attendance and identifies practical measures schools can take to keep behaviour in check.

Remote education, engagement and impact

We now have a blueprint for how remote education works. Emma Meadus takes us through her school’s approach and reflects on how this might be applied in the future.

Attendance planning for the new academic year: Taking stock and thinking strategically

With the 2021/22 academic year approaching, Joanne Sierzega takes a look at where we were pre-pandemic in 2019 and how we can plan ahead to be in a better place next year.

The shadow pandemic: Domestic abuse and children during Covid-19

Elisabeth Carney-Haworth reports on the tragic rise of domestic abuse during the pandemic and explains how Operation Encompass resources can help schools support vulnerable children.

The way forward for parental engagement

Now schools have re-opened, Matt Bromley provides advice on how they might focus on four key principles to ensure positive relationships with  parents.

Mental health support for schools

Teachers and school staff can feel that they are responsible for every aspect of a child’s development, but they can’t do it on their own. Suzanne O’Connell looks at available support services for mental health  needs.

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Remote learning: How are we doing?

John Viner talks about his own experience of delivering remote learning through the schools he supports, as well as looking at government reports on the effectiveness of remote learning.

Coping in a crisis

Yvonne Hardiman provides timely advice on how to cope in a crisis.


Q. I am confused about the coding of Covid-related absence as there are additional codes in our IT system that are not in the DfE attendance guidance. The attendance guidance refers to the use of the ‘X’ code for Covid-19-related absence, and the ‘I’ code for positive cases.

Q. I have four pupils on the school roll who travelled abroad in December and have not returned. How do I code their absence, or can I remove them from roll?

Q. There are a number of online learning providers offering distance learning to schools as ways of preventing exclusions or as part of re-integration packages. Schools have suggested that they have been informed by those providers and by some Ofsted inspectors that they can mark the school register as ‘B’ for those sessions provided by online learners. Could you clarify if this is an acceptable mark, bearing in mind the DfE guidance that says pupils should not be marked ‘B’ where pupils are at home doing school work?

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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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