Consultation on increasing school attendance – Friday 28 January 2022

This week I highlight a new DfE consultation on pupil attendance as well as confirmation of £8 million from NHS England to support secondary schools with the in-school vaccination programme.

Consultation on increasing school attendance
On Tuesday the Education Secretary launched a new five-week consultation on pupil attendance signalling it was his intention for attendance to be a key component in his upcoming Schools White Paper. There are four key proposals:

  • Requiring schools to have an attendance policy and have regard to statutory guidance on the expectations of schools, academy trusts and governing bodies of maintained schools on attendance management and improvement.
  • Introducing guidance on the expectations of local authority attendance services.
  • A clearer more consistent national framework for the use of attendance legal intervention, including a new regulatory framework for issuing fixed penalty notices for absence.
  • Bringing the rules for granting leaves of absence in academies in line with other state funded schools.

The Secretary of State also intends to modernise the underlying regulations that govern
the keeping of attendance and admission registers, granting leaves of absence and
sharing of attendance information by schools with local authorities and a separate
consultation and draft regulations on this will be published in due course.

Funding from NHS England to support secondary schools with the in-school vaccination programme
Earlier this week the DfE confirmed £8 million in funding from NHS England to support secondary schools with the in-school vaccination programme and passing on materials about vaccination to young people to further boost protection. Further information will be provided to schools withdetails on how the NHS funding for vaccination support will be distributed. Secondary schools, special schools and alternative provision will be provided with a one-off payment of £1,000 with an additional uplift based on pupil numbers.