Q. How should we mark our register in a period of enforced closure such as the current Covid-19 outbreak?

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A.  There are two codes that can be used to record a school closure:

1.   The ‘#’ code, which is used for planned closures and is used to mark school holidays and distinguish between term and non-term time.

2.   The ‘Y’ code, which is for unplanned/enforced school closures. This code would be used for instances such as a norovirus outbreak requiring school closure, significant inclement weather or a burst boiler, for example.

At the time of writing, schools are closed to all but vulnerable children and those children of key workers. The DfE has written to schools advising that schools should mark the registers as a planned closure for all pupils (‘#’) and have sent out an example format for how they need the attendance of those groups of children on school site recorded. 

The DfE has also confirmed that attendance data for the academic year 2019/20 will not be published and included in school performance tables.

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Joanne Sierzega

Joanne Sierzega worked for almost 16 years in local authority education welfare. Since then she has established CSAWS (Central School Attendance and Welfare Services Ltd) with two partners. CSAWS comprises a team of education welfare officers who are committed to achieving better outcomes for children by securing regular attendance at school.

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