Digital School Registration

– in the Scottish Parliament on 23rd January 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mary Fee Mary Fee Labour

3. To ask the Scottish Government how many local authorities offer digital school registration. (S5O-04037)

Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party

Local authorities and schools determine the most appropriate methods to record pupil’s school attendance; therefore, the Scottish Government does not collect that figure. For all young people to achieve their potential, schools should consider each pupil’s positive engagement with learning.

To support schools, we published revised guidance last year—“Included, Engaged and Involved Part 1: A Positive Approach to the Promotion and Management of Attendance in Scottish Schools”—which provides advice on good practice, including that

“schools should have a clear ... strategic plan to promote and manage attendance”, including “identified personnel and systems” to track and monitor attendance, and requirements for classifying and recording attendance and absence.

Photo of Mary Fee Mary Fee Labour

I thank the cabinet secretary for that response.

In West Scotland, only two out of seven councils have an online option to register a child for primary school. What further work can the Scottish Government do to encourage more local authorities to offer online registration, thereby making it easier for parents, especially those who might lose hours at work and, in some instances, income, in order to register a child in person?

Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party

I am happy to explore that with local authorities. The issue will be associated with the operation of the SEEMiS system, which is handled entirely by local authorities. As I have discovered with various issues that we have addressed, it takes time to amend that system.

If Mary Fee wishes to write to me with further details, I will be happy to explore the matter on her behalf and to advise Parliament accordingly.