This addendum is supported by the following guidance:
Coronavirus Attendance Recording for Educational Settings
AIMS AND SCOPE
We are committed to meeting our obligations with regards to school attendance by:
- Ensuring every pupil has access to full-time education to which they are entitled
- Acting early to address patterns of absence
- Supporting parents/carers and pupils who are concerned about the return to school due to coronavirus
This addendum applies from the start of the autumn term 2020 until the end of the 2020/21 academic year. It sets out changes to our normal attendance policy and should be read in conjunction with that policy. Unless covered here, our normal attendance policy continues to apply.
We may need to amend or add to this addendum as circumstances or official guidance changes. We will communicate any changes to staff, parents and pupils.
GUIDANCE AND DEFINITIONS
This policy meets the requirements of the Department for Education’s (DfE’s) guidance on school attendance during the 2020/21 academic year.
This addendum reflects the latest advice from St. Helens LEA. We have also been informed by St Helens Local Authority that children’s absences that are the result of parental anxiety must be regarded as unauthorised.
In section 4.2 of this addendum, where we refer to ‘close contact’, this means:
- Direct close contacts: face-to-face contact with an infected individual for any length of time, within 1 metre, including being coughed on, a face-to-face conversation, or unprotected physical contact (skin-to-skin)
- Proximity contacts: extended close contact (within 1 to 2 metres for more than 15 minutes) with an infected individual.
- Travelling in a small vehicle, like a car, with an infected person
This definition is from the DfE’s guidance on full reopening for schools (see number 9 in ‘the system of controls’).
It is mandatory for all pupils of compulsory school age to attend school unless:
- They have been granted an authorised absence by the school in line with section [insert section number] of our normal attendance policy
- They cannot attend school due to specific circumstances related to coronavirus (see section 4, below)
WHERE ‘NON-ATTENDANCE IN RELATION TO CORONAVIRUS’ APPLIES
We will only accept ‘non-attendance in relation to coronavirus’ in circumstances where a pupil’s travel to, or attendance at, school would be:
- Against guidance from Public Health England and/or the Department of Health and Social Care relating to the incidence of coronavirus or its transmission
- Prohibited by any legislation or statutory directions relating to the incidence of transmission of coronavirus
4.1 Pupil develops symptoms or lives with someone who does
The pupil’s parent/carer must notify the school on the first day that their child needs to self-isolate. The pupil will stay at home until they or the symptomatic person they live with receives their coronavirus test results.
- If the pupil’s test result is negative: the pupil will return to school when they feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to coronavirus. They should continue to stay at home if they remain unwell (i.e. with a different illness).
- If the person the pupil lives with tests negative: the pupil will stop self-isolating and return to school
4.2 Pupil or a ‘close contact’ of theirs receives a positive test result
The pupil’s parent/carer must notify the school about the positive test result as soon as possible.
Pupils who test positive must self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms and must only return to school when they no longer have symptoms (other than a cough or a loss of sense of smell or taste).
If a member of the pupil’s household or a ‘close contact’ tests positive, the pupil must self-isolate for 14 days. The pupil must do this from when the member of their household first had symptoms, or the day the pupil last met with the ‘close contact’ who received the positive result.
See the definition for ‘close contact’ in section 2 of this addendum.
4.3. Pupil has to quarantine after travel abroad
The parent/carer must notify the school if their child has to quarantine after travel to a country that is not on the government’s exemptions list. The pupil must quarantine for 14 days on their arrival to the UK and return to school thereafter.
4.4 Pupil is required to shield during a local lockdown
The parent/carer will notify the school if they are advised by the government to stay at home and will provide proof of their shielding letter by sending a scan to firstname.lastname@example.org or a photocopy to the school address.
The pupil will stay at home until the shieling measures in the local area are paused. Once the shielding measures are lifted, we will contact the pupil’s parent/carer to set the expectation that they can return to school.
4.5 Remote learning provision
If a pupil is not attending school because of circumstances related to coronavirus, but where the pupil is not ill, the school will provide the pupil access to remote education.
We will keep a record of, and monitor, pupil engagement with remote learning, but we will not track this information in the attendance register
The school will not provide remote learning to those pupils who are ill for reasons not related to Coronavirus.
The school will not provide remote learning to those pupils whose absences are deemed to be unauthorised.
We will take our attendance register at the start of the first session of each school day and once during the second session. It will mark whether every pupil is:
- Attending an approved off-site educational activity
- Unable to attend due to ‘exceptional circumstances’ (as defined in section 4 of our normal attendance policy)
- Unable to attend for reasons related to coronavirus (see appendix 1 for the relevant absence codes and when we will use them)
- Pupils must arrive in school at their designated time slot on each school day.
Please see our normal school Attendance Policy for timings of each department’s registrations.
FOLLOWING UP ABSENCE
Where any child we expect to attend school does not attend, or stops attending, we will:
- Follow up on their absence with their parent or carer
- Notify their social worker, where they have one
- If a pupil does not attend because they, and/or their parent/carer are concerned about returning to school because of coronavirus, we will encourage attendance, for example – Arrange a phone call/video meeting/in-school appointment between the parent/carer and a member of the SMT to explain the protective measures the school is taking to keep pupils safe.
This policy will be reviewed as guidance from the LA or Department for Education is updated.
PUPIL ABSENCE CODES
The following codes are taken from the DfE’s addendum to their school attendance guidance for the 2020/21 academic year. If not covered here, our normal attendance codes apply.