Heads Up 13 May 2022


Working together to improve attendance

Guidance to help schools, academy trusts, governing bodies, and local authorities maintain high levels of school attendance including roles and responsibilities 

On 6th May 2022, the DfE published new guidance on school attendance along with a summary table of responsibilities.  The Secretary of State has committed to this guidance becoming statutory when parliamentary time allows (this will be no sooner than September 2023).   

The guidance places expectations on:   

  • All school and academy trust staff, headteachers, governors, academy trustees, and alternative provision providers   
  • Local authority attendance staff, early help lead practitioners, social workers, and virtual school heads   
  • Statutory safeguarding (including police and integrated care boards) and other local partners  

The guidance is intended to: 

  • help schools, trusts, governing bodies and local authorities maintain high levels of school attendance 
  • summarise the roles and responsibilities of parents, schools, trusts, governing bodies and local authorities 
  • summarise the support that should be provided to families, including for pupils who are persistently or severely absent or at risk of becoming so 
  • provide details of attendance legal interventions available to schools and local authorities where support does not work, is not engaged with or is not appropriate 
  • provide details of what schools are required to record in the attendance and admission registers 

There will be significant change to the way attendance is addressed nationally and we are at an early stage of planning a new attendance model.  We plan to provide regular updates as developments progress.  We will be publishing dates on new attendance network meetings soon to support with your developments.  

The summary table is a good starting point to look at the changes to roles and responsibilities and can be found: 

Summary table of responsibilities for school attendance (publishing.service.gov.uk) 

Full information can be found here.  



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