School attendance: Improving consistency of support

Closed 28 Feb 2022

Opened 25 Jan 2022

Feedback updated 7 Aug 2023

We asked

In January 2022, we launched a consultation seeking views on 4 measures to improve the consistency of support available to families in England on school attendance.

You said

The majority of respondents agreed with the proposals for requiring schools to have an attendance policy (71%), that there should be a minimum set of expectations for academy trusts and governing bodies of maintained schools (51%) and that there should be a minimum set of components for local authority attendance services (59%)

We did

The Department for Education has conducted a new burdens assessment with local authorities, the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, the Local Government Association and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities which shows the proposal does not constitute a new burden and can be delivered within existing budgets.


We're seeking views on what should be included in measures to improve the consistency of school attendance support and management.

Why your views matter

Based on existing effective practice of schools, academy trusts and local authorities in managing school attendance, we are seeking views on introducing the following possible measures:

  • Requiring schools to have an attendance policy, and have regard to statutory guidance on the expectations of schools, academy trusts and governing bodies of maintained schools on attendance management and improvement.
  • Guidance on the expectations of LA attendance services.
  • A clearer more consistent national framework for the use of attendance legal intervention, including a new regulatory framework for issuing fixed penalty notices for absence.
  • Bringing the rules for granting leaves of absence in academies in line with other state funded schools.

These are intended to deliver consistent support for families across England and focus better, targeted multi-agency support on pupils who need it most.


  • Teachers
  • Headteachers
  • Governors
  • School support staff
  • Local authorities
  • Designated safeguarding leads
  • Pupils
  • Parents
  • Social workers
  • Unions and representative organisations
  • Government bodies and departments
  • Directors of children's services


  • Education
  • Statutory policies and guidance
  • Attendance and absence