Ofsted and Attendance

Ofsted and Attendance (information drawn from the September 2018 - School Inspection Handbook)

Ofsted and Attendance (information drawn from the September 2018 - School Inspection Handbook)

13.  In conducting a risk assessment, Ofsted analyses:

  • pupils’ attendance

32.  The lead inspector will prepare for the inspection by gaining an overview of the school’s recent performance and any changes since the last inspection. The lead inspector will use all available evidence to develop an initial picture of the school’s performance. The planning will be informed by analysis of:

  • data from the inspection data summary report (IDSR), ’Analyse school performance’ (ASP), including on attendance and exclusions, and the Level 3 Value Added (L3VA) report

40.  The purpose of the lead inspector’s initial call is to:

  • discuss any off-site units that cater for pupils with behaviour or attendance difficulties either run by the school or in partnership with other schools

41.  Inspectors will request that the following information is available at the start of the inspection:

  • up-to-date attendance analysis for all groups of pupils

81.  Performance information must be considered alongside other evidence gathered during the inspection on progress, attainment, attendance and exclusion to evaluate:

  • up-to-date attendance analysis for all groups of pupils

179.  Inspectors will consider:

  • overall absence and persistent absence rates for all pupils, and for different groups in relation to national figures for all pupils
  • the extent to which low attenders are improving their attendance over time and whether attendance is consistently low (in the lowest 10%)
  • punctuality in arriving at school and at lessons.

183.  If the school runs (on its own or in partnership with other schools) an off-site unit for pupils whose behaviour is poor or with low attendance, an inspector must visit the unit. Inspectors will assess safeguarding procedures, the quality of teaching and how effectively the unit helps to improve pupils’ behaviour, learning and attendance.

The following are taken from Ofsted’s school Judgement Descriptors:

Outstanding (1)
Pupils value their education and rarely miss a day at school. No groups of pupils are disadvantaged by low attendance. The attendance of pupils who have previously had exceptionally high rates of absence is rising quickly towards the national average.

Good (2)
Pupils value their education. Few are absent or persistently absent. No groups of pupils are disadvantaged by low attendance. The attendance of pupils who have previously had exceptionally high rates of absence is showing marked and sustained improvement.

Inadequate (4)
Attendance is consistently low for all pupils or groups of pupils and shows little sign of sustained improvement.

Grade descriptors: the effectiveness of the 16 to 19 study programmes:

Learners develop personal, social, employability and independent learning skills and achieve high levels of punctuality, attendance and conduct, including through the contribution of non-qualification or enrichment activities and/or work experience
Learners develop personal, social and employability skills, including through high quality non-qualification activities and work experience relevant to their needs. They are punctual and attendance is high.

Inspecting partnerships and off-site provision

Inspectors may wish to speak to key partners who work with the school. They should make every effort to telephone or meet staff in the institutions where pupils are taught off-site to help assess the school’s quality assurance arrangements. They must evaluate the rigour with which the school monitors the attendance, behaviour, learning and progress of the pupils who attend them.

Recent Local Experiences of Ofsted Inspections

Recent Local Experiences of Ofsted Inspections


Schools are expected to be able to show evidence of their monitoring and analysis of longitudinal and comparative Attendance Data. In short, you should be able to prove that your school regularly extracts and analyses the Attendance Data of the whole school and Disadvantaged Pupils (at both Overall and PA levels) in comparison with:

  • Historical School Data (i.e. how does the school’s current attendance compare with previous periods of time etc.)
  • Local and National Trends (via latest National Published Attendance Data)

Once you have analysed the Data, the expectation is that this Data is then used to inform and guide your Attendance Management Practice.

Make sure that you can evidence your support/challenge in managing Pupil Attendance (especially your Disadvantaged Pupils).

Do you have documented evidence of your schools processes and procedures in managing your School’s Attendance (Escalation Process)?

Do you have evidence that doing the above enables you to demonstrate the impact of your school actions?

Disadvantaged Pupils

This is a key area of focus at this moment in time. Even schools with good Overall Whole School Attendance data have had Ofsted really drill into the Disadvantaged Pupil Data. Make sure that you can evidence:

  • That you regularly monitor and analyse (suggested on a half termly basis) your Disadvantaged Pupil Attendance Data.
  • That your School Disadvantaged Pupil Attendance Data is analysed at an Overall Attendance and a Persistent Absentee level. Ofsted are particularly keen on investigating the support/challenge offered to your Disadvantaged Pupils who are also Persistently Absent.

As a priority, schools should be able to evidence the interventions that they have put in place to support/challenge their Disadvantaged Pupils who are Persistently Absent.

B and D Coding

Schools are being asked to explain their use of the B Code to ensure that it is used correctly and in line with Department of Education Guidance.

Extracted from DofE ‘Advice on School Attendance and the B code’ June 2013.

An approved educational activity is where a pupil is taking part in supervised educational activity such as field trips, educational visits, work experience or alternative provision. Pupils can only be recorded as receiving off-site educational activity it the activity meets the requirements prescribed in regulation 6(4) of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006. The activity must be of an educational nature approved by the school and supervised by someone authorised by the school. The activity must take place during the session for which the mark is recorded. Ultimately schools are responsible for the safeguarding and welfare of pupils educated off-site. Therefore by using code B, schools are certifying that the education is supervised and measures have been taken to safeguard pupils. This code should not be used for any unsupervised educational activity or where a pupil is at home doing school work. Schools should ensure that they have in place arrangements whereby the provider of the alternative activity notifies the school of any absences by individual pupils.'

Schools should be aware that in order to use the D Code in attendance registers, pupils must be attending another educational provision which is Department of Education registered (with a school number). If it is not registered then it may be appropriate to consider the B Code (if the B Code criteria mentioned above is met). 

Post Registration Truancy (Secondary Schools)

Following reported events in Rotherham where Disadvantaged Pupils were registering and then leaving the school site, schools are expected to be able to evidence that they have a process in place to assist the early identification and subsequent management of instances of Post Registration Truancy.

Part Time Timetables and NEW LINK to DCC Guidance

Schools must ensure that Part Time Timetables are only ever used as a last resort, reviewed regularly and only used for a time limited period. Restricting a student’s access to their legal entitlement of a full time education is a serious decision that needs to be justifiable. In cases where the school feels that a temporary Part Time Timetable is absolutely necessary, the school must inform the Local Authority (through the Annexe R notification).

Are any Part Time Timetables within your school absolutely necessary?

Is the Annexe R used? Has a Pastoral Support Plan been completed and signed by parents?

IMPORTANT LINK: http://www.babcockldp.co.uk/safeguarding-and-compliance/education-welfare/school-attendance-information/attendance-sfr

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