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Handy hints

Get the register right. It is a legal requirement, and mistakes could mean a child marked as safely in school could be in danger.

* If you have a paper register, keep it tidy and unambiguous. Check school practice on ink colours.

* Keep a list of the codesfor categories of absence, and make sure you understand the definitions of "authorised" and "unauthorised" absence.

* Give time to the job. Don't be late to registration, nor in a rush to finish.

* Make sure you see and hear each child. "He's gone to the toiletto see the head" will not do.

* Don't leave the register blank t be filled in from rough notes later.

* Ask about absentees. Look for patterns - are Joe and George both away? The school should have a policy on such cases, but use your initiative.

* You may have to mark your register on an Optical Mark Reader Sheet, on anetwork computer or on a laptop. This can make the job easier, but make sure you know what to do. Practise beforehand and don't be afraid to ask questions.

* Keep a list of your group with you so that if you get in a mess you can do your own temporary manual register. Do not let the group go unregistered Next week: on duty

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