Coronavirus (COVID-19)


COVID-19 Attendance / Exclusions

COVID-19 Attendance / Exclusions

All coronavirus guidance for educational settings can now be found in one place on GOV.​UK: Guidance for educational settings

During the 2020-21 academic year, schools should return to using the attendance and absence codes in use before the outbreak in addition to the new category of ‘not attending in circumstances related to coronavirus (COVID-19)’:

Pupils not attending a session who meet the criteria for ‘not attending in circumstances related to coronavirus (COVID-19)’ should be recorded using code X.

Schools should continue to use code X for non-compulsory school aged pupils who are not expected to attend a session, as they did before the outbreak

Further information can be found here:Addendum: recording attendance in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19) during the 2020 to 2021 academic year - GOV.UK (

In addition the Department for Education has introduced a set of sub-codes to help schools accurately and consistently record non-attendance related to coronavirus, and help them to complete the daily education settings status form. This can be found here: Recording non-attendance related to coronavirus (

Attendance recording in schools

As vulnerable children are still expected to attend school full time, they should not be marked as Code X if they are not in school (except if they are shielding, self-isolating or quarantining). Schools and colleges should encourage vulnerable children to attend but if the parent of a vulnerable child wishes their child to be absent from school, the parent should let the school know that the pupil will not be attending.

The Department for Education expects schools and colleges to grant such applications for leave given the exceptional circumstances. This should be recorded as code C (leave of absence authorised by the school) unless another authorised absence code is more applicable.

As with vulnerable children, critical worker parents and carers should let schools know if their child will not be attending and, if not, schools should grant a leave of absence (code C) given the exceptional circumstances.

All pupils who are not expected to be in school should be marked as Code X. They are not attending because they are following public health advice.


School Exclusions

The government has released guidance on changes to the school exclusion process during the coronavirus outbreak.

All exclusions occurring between 1 June 2020 and 24 March 2021 (inclusive of those dates) are subject to amended arrangements with regards to:

  • the use of remote access technology (for example videoconferencing or telephone conferencing software) for meetings of governing boards or independent review panels
  • the deadline for applications for an independent review


Governing boards’ duties to consider reinstatement of excluded pupils, and the process for independent review panels (IRPs)

The DfE issued the below guidance on the 9th April:

The timeframes set out in the School Discipline (Pupil Exclusions and Reviews) (England) Regulations 2012 remain in force. This applies to all exclusions, including those that were issued before 23 March 2020.

The government appreciates that it may not be possible to meet the timeframes set out in regulations for review meetings and IRPs, due to the disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19), and the health risks of holding meetings. The Regulations themselves envisage that the timeframes may not always be met, which is why they specify that meetings and panel hearings must still go ahead even if the relevant deadline has been missed. It is for the governing board, or arranging authority, to assess the facts of the case, and decide whether the statutory deadlines are achievable or whether, in the circumstances, the meeting has to be delayed or alternative technology (such as telephone or video conference facilities) should be used. Governing boards and arranging authorities should continue to take reasonable steps to ensure meetings are arranged for a time when all parties are able to attend.

The government have announced an expansion to the codes used for exclusions with the code “other” consequently being withdrawn. These are detailed in full in the Buckinghamshire Exclusion Guidance which can be found on the Exclusion & Reintegration page on Schools web.

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