Schools will be asked to submit Covid-19 attendance data to the government on a weekly rather than daily basis from October, it has been announced.
The educational setting status form, which has provided the government with information about attendance and Covid-related absences throughout the pandemic, will reopen for the autumn term on Thursday.
In an email sent to education leaders by the Department for Education and seen by Schools Week, schools were asked to continue to submit daily attendance data throughout September in order to “monitor attendance in schools and colleges after the summer break”.
However, from Friday, October 1, the form will move from daily reporting to weekly. The DfE said this would reduce the time schools and colleges spend completing it.
The email states: “At this point, all schools and colleges will have settled into the new term”.
Schools are currently asked to complete the form by 2pm each day.
The DfE said the change would be kept under review and “should the national situation require, daily reporting will be reinstated”.
Elsewhere the email informs leaders that changes have been made to the attendance data form to align it with the latest guidance for schools and colleges. These changes do not impact how the form is completed.
The set of sub-codes, which were introduced last year for schools and colleges to record non-attendance related to coronavirus, have also been updated.
Code X03 and X04 which relate to a pupil self-isolating due to a potential contact with a confirmed Covid case inside or outside of school respectively are “not applicable” for the next academic year.
This follows a change to the rules last week which means under-18s no longer need to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a confirmed Covid case.
In October, Schools Week revealed the government closed an attendance reporting loophole by requesting all schools submit data on Covid-related absence, rather than those which were partially or fully closed due to an outbreak.