State schools must share attendance register

Every state school in England will now share their daily attendance registers across the education sector - including with the Department for Education (DfE), councils, and trusts – in the next stage of the government’s drive to reduce pupil absence in school.

This new regulation has come into force as the next stage in addressing school absenses across the country. 

Rob Tarn, CEO of Northern Education Trust, said attendance is one of the "biggest challenges facing the school system today."

He added: "Today’s announcement is the next step in the government’s national drive to improve attendance and tackle persistent absence."

The sharing of daily school registers will form a new attendance data set that will help schools spot and support children displaying worrying trends of persistent absence or those in danger of becoming missing in education. 

The government’s plan to improve attendance has included expanding the attendance hubs programme to 32 hubs across the country, which share best practice to schools supporting more than one million pupils, plus piloting attendance mentors, who work directly with pupils to tackle their barriers to attendance alongside a national awareness campaign aimed at helping parents.

Parent fines for unauthorised absences will also be brought under a national framework to help tackle inconsistencies in their use. 

Currently, a parent can be fined £60 by the local council, a figure which doubles if not paid within 21 days. The government plans to increase this costs for fines to £80 if paid within 21 days and from £120 to £160 if paid in 28 days which they say will ensure all parents are aware of when they might face a fine to ensure all councils are issuing fines appropriately. 

The DfE said that 380,000 fewer pupils were persistently off school over the course of last year.


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