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When do we get involved?

Schools can refer to the attendance team for statutory intervention. All referrals are assessed and allocated by the Team Manager if referral criteria is met.

We usually get involved if:

  • attendance is below 90% (80 to 90% is usually addressed by school)

  • absences have occurred in the previous 8 weeks

  • school has attempted to address the absence during this period and can provide evidence and a chronology of work undertaken over the last 8 weeks

  • majority of absences are unauthorised

We also provide advice and guidance in situations where a child may have had a lot of time off as authorised absences.

We expect that the school has tried everything they can to address the absences themselves before referring to us.

You cannot be penalised for a genuine medical absence. Schools must authorise an absence where a child is ill or has a medical appointment.

What can you expect from our service?

If you are concerned about your child’s attendance you should contact your child’s school who will try to resolve any issues or concerns first, but if they can’t the school may refer your child to the Attendance Team (see above).   Local Authority Attendance Officers (LAAO’s) will always try to work with parents to resolve any difficulties that are preventing a child’s regular attendance at school.  However, the law is clear that parents are responsible for their child’s regular and punctual attendance at school.

There may be good reasons for an attendance difficulty, such as illness. However, if it becomes clear that this is not the case, and despite every best effort to work out a solution, the child’s attendance does not improve, the LAAO may begin legal proceedings against the parents on behalf of the County Council.

Local Authority Attendance Officers (LAAOs) visit schools regularly and speak to school staff.  We offer advice and guidance to schools both at a whole school level, and for individual cases.

How to refer

In most cases, the school will make the referral when they have concerns, but parents and carers can contact us too.

Parents’ consent is not required for a referral to the Attendance Team.

Attendance teams are based within 2 area teams – East and West across Hertfordshire.

West Area - Watford, Three Rivers and Hertsmere;  Dacorum and St Albans

01442 454778

attendancedutywest@hertfordshire.gov.uk

East Area - North Herts and Stevenage; East Herts, Broxbourne, Welwyn and Hatfield

01992 555261

attendancedutyeast@hertfordshire.gov.uk

What happens after the referral is submitted?

If the case is accepted by the Attendance Team a Link Local Authority Attendance Officer (LAAO) will invite you to a meeting at the school or at a local Hertfordshire County Council office, or they may visit you at home.  Casework is a process of assessment, planning interventions, agreeing targets, formulating an action plan and reviewing the plan regularly in order to address issues and improve attendance.

Page was last published on: 05/02/2020 11:53:40
0300 123 4043
Hertfordshire County Council customer call centre

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