Schools: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of Darren Jones Darren Jones Labour, Bristol North West

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to ensure that vulnerable people, in the event that they are advised to self-isolate are not penalised if they have to remove their dependents from school in order to do so.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Parents will not be penalised for absence that results from following government guidance on self-isolation.

Where a pupil is in self-isolation, in accordance with the latest advice from Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England, schools have been advised to record the pupil as being unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances in the attendance register.

Schools have also been advised that where a pupil does not attend school and is not self-isolating, the pupil will be recorded as absent but we expect headteachers will authorise absence where a pupil is not able to attend because of an underlying health condition that means they, or a family member in their household, are particularly vulnerable to the virus.

Recording a pupil as unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances and authorising absence will not lead to enforcement action being taken.

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