Absence and attendance resource hub

Understand your responsibilities when it comes to absence and attendance. Feel confident in monitoring, managing and improving your attendance, to keep pupils safe and learning.

Guidance and requirements

Be clear on the legal requirements and your responsibilities when it comes to attendance, the register and study leave. Read our summary of the working together to improve school attendance guidance and get to grips with the advice in it.

Attendance: the legal requirements

Parents and carers have a legal responsibility to send their child to school. Read on for guidance on authorised absence and learn what to do if a pupil isn't attending.

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Attendance register: requirements and guidance

Be clear on the rules for registering pupil attendance and absence, so you can make sure your school is compliant. Find guidance on when to close the register, and see what approaches other schools take.

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Study leave for pupils: requirements and guidance

Find out if you can grant study leave and what you need to consider when granting it. Plus, learn which absence codes to use, and whether study leave counts towards attendance figures.

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Working together to improve school attendance: the DfE's expectations

Get to grips with the DfE's guidance on maintaining high levels of attendance. Be clear on what you're expected to do, including building relationships with families, developing a whole-school approach and analysing data.

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Children missing education (CME): procedures and policies

Find out about the statutory requirements for school procedures on children absent from education and children missing education (CME), including monitoring attendance, updating admission registers and making reasonable enquiries about a child's whereabouts. See CME policies from primary, secondary and special schools.

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Policies and procedures

Download and adapt our attendance policy.

Attendance policy: model and examples

Download and adapt our model attendance policy, or if you prefer to write or review your own, use our checklist setting out requirements and good practice. Share your policy highlights with parents and carers using our handy summary letter.

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Attendance data

Use our templates to compare your school's attendance data with others, and learn how the data is collected. Get governors up to speed on your data and how you're managing any barriers to attendance. 

Attendance: national, LA and school data

Compare your school's attendance data to others locally and nationally, using our summary of the data and templates. Learn how the data is collected and how to make your own data tables using the DfE website.

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Attendance: template report to governors

Use our adaptable template to paint a clear picture to governors of absence and attendance in your school. Get governors up to speed on the common barriers to attendance, your approach to tackling them, and demonstrate impact.

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Absence requests and inclusion

Find out what to consider when making decisions about term-time absences and sixth-form absence. Make sure you know how to handle absence requestions for religious events, and understand the legislation around attendance expectations for Traveller pupils.

Pupil term-time absence: what you need to know

Term-time absences can only be granted in 'exceptional circumstances'. Know what factors you need to consider when deciding whether a circumstance is 'exceptional' and making a judgement around how long the pupil needs to be away from school.

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Absence and attendance in the sixth form

Find out what you need to record in your register for sixth-form students. Learn about setting sanctions and whether you have to inform parents about students' absence.

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Absence requests for religious observance

Make sure you know how to handle requests for absence from both pupils and staff due to religious events. Also, find links to calendars of celebrations so you can keep on top of dates when you might see absence requests.

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Traveller pupils: absence and attendance

Understand the legislation around attendance expectations for Traveller pupils, and find advice on when to authorise absence and which absence codes to use.

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Flexible approaches to attendance

Get to grips with flexi-school arrangements and reduced, or part-time, timetables.

Flexi-schooling: guidance

Get to grips with flexi-schooling arrangements. Find out what to consider before agreeing to a request, what to include in an agreement with parents/carers and what Ofsted will want to know about the provision.

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Reduced timetables for pupils

Get to grips with reduced timetables, also known as part-time timetables. Find out when you can use them and what you need to consider before, during and after you've introduced one.

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Improving attendance

Use our audit and top tips to help you identify and manage issues in your school that affect attendance. Get to the bottom of common barriers to attendance, and use our attendance reintegration plans to work with the pupil and their family to create an effective response. 

Improving attendance: audit

Download our audit to help you identify issues in your school, so you can put targeted strategies in place to improve attendance.

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Strategies for improving attendance

Use our practical tips to help tackle poor attendance in your school. While these aren't intended to be a quick fix, you can put most of them into practice without overhauling your whole strategy.

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Understanding a pupil’s barriers to attendance

When a pupil is at risk of persistent absence, follow these steps to get to the bottom of the issue. Find out how to have productive discussions with the pupil and their parents/carers, and how to use what you’ve found to create a bespoke reintegration plan.

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Attendance reintegration plans

Support pupils to improve their attendance with our template reintegration plan. Get guidance on how to work with the pupil and their family to create an effective plan that's tailored to the individual's barriers to attendance.

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How to improve sixth form attendance and behaviour

Get expert advice to help you improve attendance and behaviour in the sixth form. Read a case study to find out how a sixth form improved standards of attendance and behaviour.

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Attendance and mental wellbeing: supporting pupils

Understand how to support pupils struggling with their mental health to attend school, and what to do when they feel like they can’t. Read about your next steps on a whole-school level, how to work with parents and carers and find helpful tips for supporting individual pupils.

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Engaging with parents and carers

Use our template letters to parents and carers to help you address attendance issues, and learn how to tackle unauthorised absence with fines or parenting contracts.

Absence, attendance and punctuality: template letters to parents/carers

Use our template letters to help you address attendance issues such as unauthorised absence and poor punctuality. See examples of letters from primary and secondary schools, and get guidance on building a trusting relationship with parents/carers.

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Tackling unauthorised absence: fining parents

Your school is legally entitled to fine parents if their child has poor attendance. Find out when you can issue a penalty notice and whether you can challenge local authority decisions on penalty notices and prosecutions.

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Parenting contracts for poor attendance

Get advice on parenting contracts, including when to use them in response to problems with behaviour or attendance, and see examples and guidance from local authorities.

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