Please note - The 2019-20 milestone target is 92%
September 2019 performance
The Virtual School monitors the attendance of children looked after on a daily basis and reports on the attendance of all children looked after regardless on when they entered care. All schools and education providers are contacted daily and asked to report of the attendance of children looked after. The school attendance for children looked children remains below that of their peers. However, there are a wide range of factors that impact on school attendance such as changes in care placement and the Virtual School works with all stakeholders in order to mitigate any negative effects. Due to the nature of children that are CLA, there is a constantly changing cohort, with an inflow and outflow of children on a regular basis.
For September 2019, attendance for West Sussex Children Looked After has increased since the end of last month by 1.1% to 92.2% and is now only 3.3% less than the target. The Virtual School will continue to work with school and other partner agencies to improve the attendance of Children Looked After through timely interventions and bespoke educational packages to support the needs of our young people.
July 2019 performance
For July 2019, attendance for West Sussex Children Looked After has increased since the end of last month by 5.4% to 91.1% and is now only 4.6% less than the target.
The Virtual School monitors the attendance of children looked after on a daily basis and reports on the attendance of all children looked after regardless on when they entered care. All schools and education providers are contacted daily and asked to report of the attendance of children looked after. The school attendance for children looked children remains below that of their peers. However, there are a wide range of factors that impact on school attendance such as changes in care placement and the Virtual School works with all stakeholders in order to mitigate any negative effects. Due to the nature of children that are CLA, there is a constantly changing cohort, with an inflow and outflow of children on a regular basis. 
March 2019 performance
The Virtual School monitors the attendance of children looked after on a daily basis and reports on the attendance of all children looked after regardless on when they entered care. All schools and education providers are contacted daily and asked to report of the attendance of children looked after. The school attendance for children looked children remains below that of their peers. However, there are a wide range of factors that impact on school attendance such as changes in care placement and the Virtual School works with all stakeholders in order to mitigate any negative effects. Due to the nature of children that are CLA, there is a constantly changing cohort, with an inflow and outflow of children on a regular basis.
For March 2019, attendance for West Sussex Children Looked After has slightly increased since the end of last month by 0.1% to 90.5% and is now 2.2.% less than the target. The Virtual School will continue to work with school and other partner agencies to improve the attendance of Children Looked After through timely interventions and bespoke educational packages to support the needs of our young people.
April 2018 Performance
For both March and April 2018, attendance for West Sussex Children Looked After remains below that of the cohort as a whole, and although down slightly from the figure for February, reflects and similar pattern to 2017.
Comparison with national and regional 
The 2017 overall attendance figure for West Sussex was 94.3% compared to the South East region (95.4%) and the National figure (95.7%), a difference of 1.1% and 1.4%, respectively.
The gap has widened slightly over the last two years, although, importantly, absence across all areas has increased. However, with regards to persistent absence the figure for West Sussex has actually decreased from 2016 (13.9%) to 11.2% in 2017 and is now in line with the South East region. 
The position, for the last 4 years, is detailed below:
Table LA5: Absence from school of children who have been looked after continuously for at least twelve months (2 ) - Years: 2014 - 2017
Coverage: State-funded primary, state-funded secondary and specials schools, England(2)
See Chapter 3 of the "Guide to absence statistics" for more information.

Background

All maintained schools are required to provide two possible sessions per day, morning and afternoon, to all pupils. The length of each session, break and the school day is determined by the school’s governing body. Schools must meet for at least 380 sessions or 190 days during any school year to educate their pupils. If a school is prevented from meeting for one or more sessions because of an unavoidable event, it should find a practical way of holding extra sessions.

However, if it cannot find a practical way of doing this then it is not required to make up the lost sessions. Academy and free school funding agreements state that the duration of the school day/sessions is the responsibility of the academy trust.

Schools are required to take attendance registers twice a day: once at the start of the first/morning session of each school day and once during the second/afternoon session. In their register, schools are required to record whether pupils are:

•Present

•Attending an approved educational activity

•Absent

•Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances

Where a pupil of compulsory school age is absent, schools have a responsibility to:

•Ascertain the reason

•Ensure the proper safeguarding action is taken

•Indicate in their register whether the absence is authorised by the school or unauthorised

•Identify the correct code to use before entering it on to the school’s electronic register, or management information system