Services for children


September opening

Attendance guidance for schools reopening in September 2020 (pdf)

School attendance service level agreement 2020/21

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The above SLA documents include guidance on:

  • Benchmark data
  • Ofsted grade descriptors
  • Attendance policy
  • Schools attendance management
  • Leave of absence in term time
  • Leavers and joiners' duties for schools
  • Reasonable enquiry
  • Strategies for good attendance
  • School attendance support framework (primary schools only)
  • Data on SIMS / MIS
  • Legal action guide
  • And more.

Absence due to religious observance

Schools should treat a pupil’s absence as authorised if it is on a day exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which the parent belongs. As set out in regulation 6(2)(b)(ii) of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 online at:.

The DfE does not define which specific days schools should authorise for religious observance. As a general rule, we would interpret a ‘day exclusively set apart for religious observance’ as a day when the pupil’s parents would be expected by the religious body to which they belong to stay away from their employment in order to mark the occasion. We advise schools to seek advice from the relevant religious body if they are in doubt.

The DfE would not consider attending religious festivals to be a religious observance day and as such, parents are not entitled to take their children out of school for such festivals. Religious festivals would be an occasion which religious bodies mark without expecting families to take time off work or school.

Parents may apply to the school for a leave of absence that is linked to a religious day. However, unlike days that the religious body have set aside to be spent exclusively in religious observance, parents have no entitlement to leave linked to religious days.

Head teachers may grant requests for leave of absence if there are exceptional circumstances that warrant the leave but are not obliged to do so. Authorisation of such leave is completely at the head teacher’s discretion.

More information about religious festivals on this website

Forms and policies
* Model school attendance policy - October 2017 *login required
Leavers form - October 2017
Copies of this form should be available at staff reception at all times.
Reasonable enquiry form - October 2017
Attendance and benchmark data analysis
Your school's attendance benchmarks and analysis report are available on your school's page on the Ealing Grid for Learning (EGfL user account with reports access required).
Register and codes
2006 Pupil Registration Regulations
DfE and Ofsted
School attendance: guidance for schools
School inspection handbook - Ofsted (GOV.UK)


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Last updated: 09 Sep 2020