The A to E of absence

26th September 2003 at 01:00
At last, a uniform system for recording absences. Gone are the days of unique markings in the register to indicate pupils with a dodgy attendance record and dubious parental notes.

Step forward Circular 503, which tells it like it is, with six codes for authorised absences including, unsurprisingly, A for Absent and, more complex, E for "Authorised parental holiday authorised by headteacher as a result of traumatic domestic circumstances for the cohesion and well-being of the family."

There are a further six codes which actually count as "Attendance" including, intriguingly enough, H for Holiday and C for Closure Days.

Jotter has to commend the "Unauthorised Absences" codes, of which there are but a lonely two. U stands for Truancyunexplained absence. Fair enough.

But G will record "Parental holiday holidays during term time which are influenced by financial or meteorological reasons".

Whatever could they mean?

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