New school attendance policies must include details of how attendance data will be used, the point at which sanctions will kick in, and strategies for reducing persistent and severe absence.

The Schools Bill – unveiled in this week’s Queen’s Speech – will include a legal requirement for attendance policies, most probably from September 2023.

The DfE has published new attendance guidance this week (DfE, 2022a) that will apply from September this year. It is currently non-statutory, although schools can expect it to be given statutory status by September 2023.

It comes after the DfE published the outcomes of its consultation over the attendance proposals first published in January (DfE, 2022b).

This confirms that schools’ attendance policies “will be expected to cover attendance expectations, named attendance staff contacts, day-to-day attendance management processes, their strategy for using attendance data, their strategy for reducing persistent and severe absence, and the point at which sanctions will be used”.

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