School Attendance and Engagement Team

Herefordshire Council is committed to working with schools and other partners to improve school attendance and punctuality across the local authority.

Underpinning this commitment is the understanding that there is a strong correlation between good school attendance and achieving positive outcomes for children. There is a wide range of evidence as to the health and wellbeing benefits for school age education, and the Chief Medical Officers have been clear that time out of school can hold back young people's development and wellbeing.

In our work with children and families, we are committed to ensuring that all staff advocate the child's right to a full-time and successful education. This means that our work with children, parents and schools should be underpinned by the key principle that any child, regardless of their characteristics, needs or the type of school they attend, deserves access to a full-time, high-quality education that allows them to flourish and paves the way to a successful future.

The School Attendance and Engagement Team is here to support schools in improving attendance, email Schoolattendance&

Supporting children with attendance issues

Herefordshire has an intervention approach to school attendance. Improving attendance Herefordshire graduated response document provides a guide to the actions to be taken when attendance is an issue. The document is to be read alongside the attendance strategy and the DfE's working together to improve school attendance guidance.

Attendance action - Universal

Attendance level is between 90% and 100% over a 12-week period.

Children with levels of attendance between 90% and 100% will usually receive support from the school's attendance officer through a mixture of telephone calls, letters and informal meetings with parents.

Download attendance letter templates

Attendance action - Universal plus - additional support which may or may not require multi-agency work with other professionals

Attendance level is below 90% over a 12-week period.

Children with attendance below 90% will require additional support to return them to over 90%. The support could be either Early Help support or via the initial stages of enforcement action. This level of intervention is the primary responsibility of schools. Schools may link in with external services to provide this in conjunction with the school.

Useful links for supporting Universal plus


The referral form and all accompanying documents must be sent by secure file transfer, Anycomms +, for the attention of Lorraine Ralph or Louise Price, Enforcement Officers at Trading Standards. Please upload each document individually rather than one file.


Attendance action - Severely absent

Attendance level is below 50% over a sustained period.

Schools will be expected to evidence the interventions that have taken place. This can include (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Communications with parents
  • Home visits - dates and times
  • Professional discussions
  • Bespoke timetable arrangements
  • Referrals to outside agencies such as CAMHS/Behaviour Support team/Early Help
  • MARF completed that references attendance (see Herefordshire levels of need)
  • Evidence of referral for enforcement action

Useful links for supporting severely absent

Children Missing in Education (CMIE)

When the above suggested interventions have been tried and school attendance is still below 50%, schools can refer to the Children Missing In Education (CMIE) panel.

The CMIE panel is a solutions focussed professionals meeting chaired by the Herefordshire Council that seeks to draw on the expertise of all partners.

The purpose of the panel is to review the interventions that have occurred and to look at where alternative interventions may be accessed.

The panel is not a referral group and no panel member will be asked to directly work with the young person as a result of the case being discussed.

For full details see the Improving attendance Herefordshire graduated response document.

CMIE panel referral form

Children with absences due to medical needs

Where a child has been out of school for 15 days or more for the same condition, and who has evidence from an appropriate health care official stating the pupil is unable to access school despite the support that has been put in place, a referral should be made to the Inclusion and Engagement Panel.

The panel will review whether the provision of education should remain with the school or whether section 19 funded provision should be implemented.

Before making a referral please refer to the Herefordshire education of children with medical needs policy

Inclusion and Engagement Panel referral form