included, engaged and involved- part 1: attendance in scottish schools

Listen

10. Attendance and absence data recording and management

10.1 Recording and coding

School and local authority Management Information Systems should reflect the data specification consulted on and agreed between education authorities and the Scottish Government through the ScotXed programme, as published on www.scotxed.net. Guidance Notes and associated Advice Notes are also available for schools and local authorities on the ScotXed website to further assist understanding of the correct recording of attendance and absence.

10.2 Using data effectively

The most purposeful use of data is at school-level, to inform school development and planning to meet individual pupils' needs.

At individual level, many schools set a threshold for attendance, triggering specific responses when a pupil falls below this. Monitoring of individual patterns of attendance and absence can help staff, pupils and parents identify support needs or isolate causes of concern. Absence may reflect other patterns in school or home life.

Class and whole-school monitoring can contribute to schools' quality assurance and development planning processes.

Many schools which have succeeded in improving attendance significantly, have focused on school data for periods of concerted effort in checking unexplained absence in order to ensure coding is correct and targeting pupils where attendance is just above, or below a threshold in order to plan for improved attendance at individual level, or to tackle difficulties identified in classes or departments.

10.3 Recording and coding information

The information below is taken from ScotXed guidance on recording and coding which is available from https://www.scotxed.net. For the purposes of this document - links to the appropriate guidance sections have been inserted.

Attendance/ Absence Reason

Attendance/Absence Code

Notes on Completion

Authorised/ Unauthorised Absence

Extended leave with parental consent

02

-Extended leave with parental consent is not to be considered the same as a family holiday. Extended leave with parental consent should be recorded separately outside the figures for attendance and absence, and includes circumstances such as:

  • extended overseas educational trips not organised by the school
  • short-term parental placement abroad
  • family returning to its country of origin (to care for relative, or for cultural reasons)

See 3.5 Diverse school communities for further information

This will not be included within the Attendance and Absence statistics calculations, either in the numerator or denominator.

Attendance

10

Include

  • attendance in school
  • educational visits organised by the school
  • study leave during the period from the official start date of the national exam timetable ( i.e. date of first exam) until timetabled lesson restart. No study leave is to be given outwith this period.
  • Other attendance out of school [ e.g. pupil on a day release to a college or another school for a specific subject]. It is the responsibility of the teaching centre to inform the base school if the pupil is absent.

See 2 Managing attendance and absence for further information

Attendance

Late 1: Arrives before 50% of opening

11

Where a pupil has arrived late but during the first half of the opening, this will be marked as late (L1). This is regardless of whether the lateness is for a valid reason.

See 2.7 Registration and recording lateness for further information

Attendance

Work experience

12

Include

  • Work experience, arranged or agreed by the school
  • Volunteering, arranged or agreed by the school

See 2.3 Wherever learning takes place for further information

Attendance

Sickness with educational provision

13

This may include time spent on sick leave or maternity leave, with proof such as a parental letter or medical certificate, and where adequate educational provision has been made. Adequate educational provision is as set out in Circular 5/2001.

Guidance on Education of Children Absent from school through Ill-health.http://www.scotland.gov.uk/library3/education/gecas-00.asp

See 2.4 Providing for pupils during long-term illness for further information

Attendance

Sickness with no education provision

20

This would include any time where a pupil is off sick, with proof of illness such as a parental letter or medical certificate, and section 14 of Education (Scotland) Act 1980 is not applicable. See Circular 5/2001, and Guidance on Education of Children Absent from school through Ill-health.http://www.scotland.gov.uk/library3/education/gecas-00.asp

Authorised

Late 2: Arrives after 50% of opening

21

Where a pupil has arrived late but during the second half of the opening, then this will be marked as Late (L2). This recording is regardless of whether the lateness is for a valid reason.

For schools using period-by-period registration, any registration in periods beginning in the second half of the opening, without any registration in periods beginning in the first half of the opening, will be converted to an overall L2 code for the opening (even if a later period is subsequently missed).

See 2.7 Registration and recording lateness for further information

Authorised

Family holidays authorised by school

22

Under exceptional circumstances schools can authorise a family holiday during term time. Such circumstances may include:

  • important to the wellbeing and cohesion of the family, following serious or terminal illness, bereavement or other traumatic events.

A family holiday classified under the "authorised absence" category should not include reasons such as:

  • The availability of cheap holidays
  • The availability of desired accommodation
  • Poor weather experienced during school holidays
  • Holidays which overlap the beginning or end of term
  • Parental difficulty in obtaining leave

See 3.6 Family holidays during term time for further information

Authorised

Exceptional domestic circumstances (authorised)

23

This relates to short-term exceptional domestic circumstances. Absences related to short-term exceptional domestic circumstances can be classified as either authorised or unauthorised absence. Authorised absence under this heading covers situations such as:

  • the period immediately after an accident or illness
  • a period of serious or critical illness of a close relative
  • a domestic crisis which causes serious disruption to the family home, causing temporary relocation

See 4.8 Exceptional domestic circumstances for further information

Authorised

Other authorised absence

24

Includes

  • Immediate family weddings
  • Bereavements
  • Religious observances
  • Attendance at court
  • Attendance at child care review
  • Attendance at children's hearing
  • Lack of transport - including due to bad weather
  • Sporting & cultural events not arranged by the school, but approved by them.

See 3.5 Diverse school communities,

3.2 Children with complex lives, and 3.4 Different lives, different needs for further information

Authorised

Medical and dental

25

  • Attendance at medical and dental appointments

See 3.3 Medical and Dental appointments. For those recording period by period, any opening that contains at least 1 session of attendance will be converted to 'attendance' for statistical purposes. For schools with one registration per opening, a medical and dental recording should be recorded as 'attendance' if the pupils attends for any part of the opening, for statistical purposes.

It is assumed that the school will note the fact that the pupil was not in attendance for the full opening, for legal purposes.

Authorised

Family holidays not authorised by school

30

Under exceptional circumstances schools can authorise a family holiday during term time. Such circumstances may include:

  • important to the wellbeing and cohesion of the family, following serious or terminal illness, bereavement or other traumatic events.

A family holiday classified under the "authorised absence" category should not include reasons such as:

  • The availability of cheap holidays
  • The availability of desired accommodation
  • Poor weather experienced during school holidays
  • Holidays which overlap the beginning or end of term
  • Parental difficulty in obtaining leave

See 3.6 family holidays for further information

Unauthorised

Truancy, including unexplained absence

31

Include all absence for which no adequate explanation has been provided

See 4. Managing unauthorised absence for further information

Unauthorised

Exceptional domestic circumstances (unauthorised)

32

Under section 14 of the 1980 Act as amended by section 40 of the SSSA 2000 Act, education authorities must make special arrangements to ensure young people with care responsibilities do not miss out on their entitlement to an education.

If a pupil is unable to attend school due to care responsibilities, there is an expectation that additional support services will be assessed to support the pupil, and their absence from education will not be long-term and therefore categorised as authorised absence.

However, where additional services have not been accessed by the pupil and care responsibilities become long-term, the absence should be categorised as unauthorised absence.

See 4.8 Long-term domestic circumstances for further information

Unauthorised

Other unauthorised absence

33

Include any other reasons for unauthorised absence; e.g. where a parent is refusing to send their child to school following a dispute with school, or when a parent refuses to sign a behaviour agreement following an exclusion.

See 4. Managing unauthorised absence and 2. Managing attendance and absence for further information.

Unauthorised

Temporary exclusion

40

Include all pupils excluded from school on a temporary basis. Information should be consistent with that supplied in the exclusions data.

Where a decision has been taken to remove a pupil from the register following an exclusion, the school is not expected to continue to mark the pupil as absent.

For further clarification please refer to the ScotXed Advice Note SXD04/2006 - "Accurate recording of absence of pupils who are excluded from school for a period of time on a 'temporary' basis."

See 3.7 Exclusion from School for further information

Separate category of absence