Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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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

The Government’s attendance expectations

The government guidance Supporting vulnerable children and young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been updated (19th April) to include a section on attendance expectations for each of the different groups attending school and on encouraging attendance.

Do schools need to complete our usual attendance processes?

Schools do not need to complete their usual day-to-day attendance processes to follow up on non-attendance. Schools/colleges and social workers should be agreeing with families whether children in need should be attending education provision – and the school or college should then follow up on any child that they were expecting to attend, who does not.

Schools and colleges should also follow up with any parent or carer who has arranged care for their children and the children subsequently do not attend. To support the above, schools and colleges should take the opportunity when communicating with parents and carers to confirm emergency contact numbers are correct and ask for any additional emergency contact numbers where they are available.

In all circumstances where a vulnerable child does not take up their place at school or college, or discontinues, the school or college should notify their social worker.

How to record absence       

Buckinghamshire Council requests that you submit your attendance to both the DfE and ourselves over this period.

The Department for Education has introduced a daily online attendance form to keep a record of children of critical workers and vulnerable children who are attending school. This allows for a record of attendance for safeguarding purposes and allows schools to provide accurate, up-to-date data to the department on the number of children taking up places.

The Department has provided the below advice for school regarding attendance registers and reporting requirements which is updated regularly

Coronavirus (COVID-19): attendance recording for educational settings - GOV.UK

Buckinghamshire Council is working hard to support our school colleagues and vulnerable children during this period and therefore in additional to the daily reporting required by The Department for Education we would like you to submit, directly to us, the names of the students you are supporting on a daily basis.  Please use the government spreadsheet including pupil level detail. This will help us track those children being supported but more importantly talk to families where their children, who appear vulnerable, are not taking up the offer of support. 

Please submit this spreadsheet via AnyComms. Anyone with a login can send the files – once logged on (https://securetransfer.buckinghamshire.gov.uk). Select the upload files to the LA option, browse for the file and then use the options below.

We understand that given the circumstances you might need an additional member of staff to be given permissions to use Anycomms. If so please contact smst@buckinghamshire.gov.uk or 01296 382640.

DfE returns for closed schools

If your school or setting is closed you need to complete the DfE form once, so that the Department for Education is aware of the closure.

If your educational setting re-opens, you should start completing the form daily from the date of re-opening.

DfE returns for hubs

For schools operating the hub system, it is the hub school that makes the return for of all children attending the school, not the school where the child is usually on roll.

The DfE has provided a list of FAQ on attendance recording for educational settings:

Educational settings self-reporting online form: frequently asked questions (FAQ) - GOV.UK

What are the attendance figures nationally?

The government publishes a spreadsheet and summary data charts showing the numbers of teachers, vulnerable children and children of critical workers in schools and nurseries from the educational settings survey.

The data is collected from a school attendance online reporting form for education settings and an early years provision online reporting form for all local authorities. These forms allow establishments to report daily on information that shows the impact of closures.

The national data can be found here: Coronavirus (COVID-19): attendance in education and early years settings - GOV.UK

A student returned to European country just as lockdown started. Now I am being told by his parent that he will be staying and attending school in his country of origin. Do I just off roll or do I need to complete a CME form?

If you are confident that this child is at school where parents have indicated and will not be returning to the UK you can off roll under regulation:-

8(1)(e) - except in the case of a boarder, that he has ceased to attend the school and no longer ordinarily resides at a place which is a reasonable distance from the school at which he is registered.

If however you are in doubt please complete a CME form in the usual way.

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.

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