Attendance guidance kicks in as DfE unveils new data toolkit

Ministers have ramped up their focus on school attendance this term in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

New attendance guidance has come into force this month and the Department for Education (DfE) is urging schools to work with councils and deploy home visits and targeted family support where needed.

The DfE has also unveiled a new one-to-one “attendance mentoring pilot, while a new "attendance data visualisation tool" is to be launched later this month.

The guidance (DfE, 2022) is non-statutory this year although is expected to become statutory from September 2023.

The thrust is very much on identifying specific barriers for individual pupils or groups of pupils, including analysing data. Schools should “build strong relationships with families, listen to and understand barriers to attendance and work with families to remove them”.

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