Agenda item

Attendance, Behaviour and Exclusion Duties

Briefing Note of the Director of Education and Skills


The Board considered a briefing note which provided information on the City Council’s duties for attendance, behaviour and exclusion.


The DfE published new guidance in 2022, ‘Working together to improve school attendance’, which set out responsibilities and expectations for all key stakeholders: schools, muti-academy trusts (MATS), Local Authorities (LA), parents/carers. The initial intention was that the guidance would be statutory from September 2023; although that had been delayed.


The DfE guidance, ‘Behaviour in Schools’ set out clear and comprehensive expectations for schools in relation to managing behaviour. The DfE guidance ‘Suspension and Permanent Exclusion’ was the companion piece to ‘Behaviour in Schools’ and set out guidance and expectations in relation to pupils who were excluded from school either temporarily or permanently.


The City Council continued to work in partnership with all schools and both attendance and behaviour continue to be key strands of the Education Improvement Citywide priorities.


In respect of attendance, the Local Authority (LA) had worked to enable implementation of the new model from September 2023. LAs locally, regionally, and nationally had made representation to the DFE in relation to the attendance reforms as the view is that they create additional burdens for LAs. It was noted that there had been no additional resource provided to deliver the reforms.


The guidance set out new expectations for LAs to:

·  Rigorously track local attendance data

·  Monitor and improve the attendance of children with a social worker through the Virtual School

·  Have a School Attendance team providing core functions free of charge to all schools (e.g. communication & advice; termly targeting support meetings with every school; support access to multi-disciplinary family support; legal interventions)


In respect of Behaviour and Exclusions, The LA statutory responsibilities largely centred on ensuring pupils are accessing education and the associated safeguarding responsibilities where children and young people miss education. As a champion for all children, the City Council worked with the partnership to ensure we share a collective moral purpose and have the right systems/infrastructure in place to support children and young people in education.


It was noted that In line with the national and regional position, Coventry had seen higher rates of suspension/exclusion following the pandemic. The local figures for the 22/23 academic year were not included in the briefing note as they were still provisional but showed a further increase in rates. Anecdotal feedback is that behaviour challenges have also increased both regionally and nationally in 22/23 academic year. These will be finalised and available, along with regional and national data, later in the Autumn Term, and would be included in the next performance report later in the municipal year.


The Board questioned Officers and received responses on a number of matters relating to attendance, behaviour and exclusion including:


·  How schools can provide support in the circumstances of a parent/grandparent/guardian with challenging behaviour.

·  The parenting contract

·  Wraparound provision

·  Impact of the CAHMS waiting list on attendance

·  Supported transfers

·  Pupil Referral Units (PRUs)

·  Impact of the pandemic


In addition, Officers undertook to circulate the joint (with Warwickshire) Mental Health programme in Schools and data on the performance of PRUs.


Arising from discussion, Members expressed concern regarding the current lack of school places and it was agreed that this matter be considered as a separate item at a future meeting.


RESOLVED that the Board note  the contents of the report and that an item on the provision of school places be included in the work programme.











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