Q. We have three pupils currently on reduced/part-time timetables. How should we code these in the register?

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A. To support a child or young person’s attendance at school, meet medical or special educational needs, reduce levels of anxiety, or to reintegrate from absence may mean using a reduced or a part-time timetable.

Use of reduced/part-time timetables must always be in the pupil’s best interests. They should only be used as part of a clear action plan based on specialist advice alongside other interventions and should always be a short-term intervention and not a long-term solution. The plan for the pupil, including the reduced/part-time timetable, must be reviewed regularly and reviews should be documented. Some local authorities will have written protocols or guidance that you should utilise.

Registers should be marked appropriately with the other authorised code (‘C’ code) for sessions the child/pupil is not expected to attend and the ‘X’ code for non-statutory school-age pupils. The relevant attendance or absence code for all other sessions should be used.

For example, if a pupil is expected to attend in the morning every day, they should be marked as present (/) if in attendance and other authorised ‘C’ code in the afternoon (‘X’ if not statutory school age). If the pupil was unwell and school has accepted the reason for absence, the register would be coded illness (‘I’) in the morning and other authorised (‘C’ code) in the afternoon.

Remember that a pupil can only be marked present if they are present for the relevant registration period (morning and afternoon). If a pupil is not expected to attend at the registration time you will have to mark them as late or absent, depending on your close of register time.

If a pupil attends school during the morning or afternoon session after the registration period, they would be signed into school at the office using the relevant school system but their registration mark for that session would not be a present mark. Remember, if setting up a reduced/part-time timetable, the times chosen should be because they are in the best interests of meeting the pupil’s needs.

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About Author

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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