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Attendance and exclusions

School attendance

The attendance team:

  • Works with schools and other agencies to identify pupils with school attendance issues. Any pupils whose attendance is less than 90% and where school’s interventions have failed to reach an improvement then the case will be referred to the local authority for investigation
  • Works with parents who may be experiencing difficulty with their children in ensuring they attend school regularly
  • Works with the parents of pupils of statutory school age within a statutory framework
  • Seeks to promote equal opportunities in education for all children

Parents can also seek direct advice from the attendance team if they have a concern regarding their child’s school attendance. 

The attendance team also offers advice in relation to child employment and entertainment.

A child missing from education is defined as:

“Any child of compulsory school age (5-16) who is not registered at any formally approved education activity (e.g. school, alternative curriculum, home education), and has been out of any education provision for a substantial period of time (usually agreed as four weeks).”

How do children go missing?

Children fall out of the education system and are at risk of ‘going missing’ because they:

  • Fail to start appropriate provision and so never enter the system (e.g. pre-school to year 1, new to the town and no application made to the local authority for a school place, or were electively home educated in another area or travelling)
  • Cease to attend, due to exclusion (e.g. illegal and unofficial exclusions) or withdrawal, removal from roll with no named destination
  • Fail to complete a transition between schools (e.g. are unable to find a suitable school place after moving to a new local authority or within Warrington).

Some children who experience certain life events are more at risk of going missing from education. These include:

  • Young people who have committed offences
  • Children living in women’s refuges (domestic violence)
  • Young runaways
  • Children of homeless families, perhaps living in temporary  accommodation, house of multiple occupancy or bed and breakfast
  • Children with long term medical or emotional problems
  • Unaccompanied asylum seekers
  • Children of refugees and asylum seeking families
  • Children in new immigrant families, who are not yet established in the UK and may not have fixed addresses
  • Children in care
  • Children with a gypsy, roma and traveller background
  • Children who are privately fostered
  • Young carers
  • Children from transient families
  • Teenage mothers
  • Children who are permanently excluded from school (particularly those excluded illegally)

How we identify children missing education

Officers in children and young people’s services coordinate, through multiagency work, the identification, referral, tracking and engagement of children missing education. This is monitored through a monthly, multiagency meeting for tracking pupils out of school.

The council works with key partners including schools, housing, health, social care, Careers for Young People, youth offending team, the police, alternative education providers and voluntary organizations. All agencies work together and manage the risk of pupils who may be missing education.

If you have information to share about a child missing education please contact us for support and guidance.

Schools do all that they can to avoid exclusions. 

They employ a number of early intervention strategies, with policies and procedures to promote positive behaviour, with alternatives to exclusion.  

However, there are occasions when due to breaches of  a school’s behaviour policy, a headteacher, (or acting headteacher in the headteacher’s absence) takes the decision to exclude a pupil, either for a fixed period or permanently.  

All exclusions follow the national guidance, “Improving behaviour and attendance: guidance on exclusion from schools and Pupil Referral Units” (2012). (DfE website).

Fixed period exclusion

The decision to exclude a pupil for a fixed period will only be taken in response to breaches of the school’s behaviour policy, including persistent disruptive behaviour.  

If a child receives a fixed period exclusion they will be told not to come into school for a certain number of days. Fixed period exclusions should not exceed a total of 45 school days in a school year.

Permanent exclusion

The decision to exclude a pupil permanently will be taken:

a) In response to a serious breach of the school’s behaviour policy; or
b) If allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school

If your child receives a permanent exclusion, they will not be able to return to that school again, although your child is entitled to an independent appeal.  

What happens whilst my child is excluded?

If your child is excluded from school, you need to be aware of the following:

  • The school they have been excluded from remains responsible for a child's education from days 1-5 of the exclusion, and should send work home for the child to complete during this time
  • Children should not be found in a public place in school hours during this period without reasonable justification
  • In the case of a fixed term exclusion, school will make arrangements to provide full-time education for a pupil excluded over five days
  • In the case of a permanent exclusion, the council will make arrangements for full time education to start by the sixth day of the exclusion.  This provision will continue until the pupil is back on roll of an alternative school.

Support from the local authority

If you have any queries regarding exclusions, and have already spoken with your child’s school, please contact us on

01925 443976 or email contact@warrington.gov.uk