Coronavirus Related Absences

During the period of national lockdown, primary, secondary, alternative provision and special schools will remain open to vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers only. All other pupils will receive remote education. Pupils who are self-isolating should not attend school. Clinically extremely vulnerable pupils are also advised not to attend school. We will continue to record attendance in the register and will  follow up on absences of the pupils who are expected to be in school. Where a parent wishes for their child to be absent, we will authorise the absence during this national lockdown period and absence will not be penalised.


Critical workers

Parents whose work is critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and EU transition response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors. Children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker can go to school if required. This includes parents who may be working from home. Schools should speak to parents and carers to identify who needs to go to school. If it proves necessary, schools can ask for simple evidence that the parent in question is a critical worker, such as their work ID badge or pay slip. Parents and carers who are critical workers should keep their children at home if they can.


Vulnerable children and young people

The definition of vulnerable children and young people includes children who have a social worker, an education, health and care plan (EHCP) or who may be vulnerable for another reason at local discretion (“otherwise vulnerable”). We will strongly encourage vulnerable children and young people to attend and parents/carers of vulnerable children and young people are strongly encouraged to take up the place.


Recording attendance

All pupils who are not eligible to be in school will be marked as Code X. They are not attending because they are following public health advice. As vulnerable children are still expected to attend school full time, they will not be marked as Code X if they are not in school (except if they are shielding, self-isolating or quarantining). If the parent of a vulnerable child wishes their child to be absent, the parent should let the school know. The Department of Education expects schools to grant applications for leave of absence given the exceptional circumstances. This will be recorded as code C (leave of absence authorised by the school) unless another authorised absence code is more applicable.