Updated DfE Regulations to Combat School Absense

Just in from the Department for Education (DfE); school absence fines to increase in England.

With the number of secondary and primary school students considered persistently absent (missing 10% or more of school across the year), increasing from 15% and 11% in 2019’s autumn term, to a staggering 24% and 16% during the autumn term, just past, a clear DfE regulatory change was needed to tackle pupil absence in schools head-on.

DfE School Attendance

DfE Regulation Changes

According to their recent update, school fines are set to increase from £60 to £80, if paid within 21 days, or from £120 to £160 if paid within 28 days. With the Department for Education hoping this approach will increase school attendance and reduce inconsistencies in student’s education.

Despite this, with rising costs impacting many parents, some feel left with no choice but to remove their child from school in favor of a family holiday. But what are the potential risks to children of increased school absence?

Risks of persistent absence to student wellbeing:

  • Low-social confidence
  • Hindered emotional progression
  • Restricted cognitive growth
  • Likely to perform worse academically, resulting in large gaps in learning

It is clear, removing your child from school, without authorised absence, has possible safeguarding and welfare repercussions. 

However, it must also be noted. This news comes alongside the announcement from the West of England, where the number of children being homeschooled has increased drastically. With four times more children in Wiltshire and Somerset being home-schooled than in the decade previous. Whilst the number in Gloucestershire has increased by 15% in the last 3 years. Many parents are now favouring a tailored approach to their child’s education.

Although, with child welfare and safeguarding an ongoing concern, there is a lot to consider with this approach. Despite there being no regulatory framework in place.

Promoting safeguarding in home-schooling:

  • Ensure appropriate privacy settings are in place on all home-schooling devices
  • Ensure all adults home-schooling know how to set up and apply controls relating to online interactions, including microphones and cameras
  • Ensure all children have a clear understanding of expectations around behaviour and participation
  • Familiarise yourself with UK Safer Internet Centre and Government guidance for keeping children safe online

How can we help?

Creating a safe online environment for children is what we do best! We deliver safe and reliable broadband, safeguarding, security and cloud services to schools and trusts all over the UK. Despite being able to monitor your child closely with homeschools, it is still important to have internet filtering and firewalls set up to reduce the possible and innocent risk of digital use.

If you’re looking for some advice or a helpful hand, take a look at our website or get in touch with our team.

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