West Sussex - updated as at November 2018
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 November 2018, attendance for West Sussex Children Looked After has increased since end of last academic year. This figure is only 0.03% less than November 2017. 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.
West Sussex - updated as at October 2018
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 October 2018, attendance for West Sussex Children Looked After has increased since end of last academic year. This figure is the same as October 2017. 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.
September 2018 performance
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 2018, attendance for West Sussex Children Looked After has increased since end of last academic year. Although this figure is down slightly from last September 2017 by 1.5%. 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 2018 performance
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 both June and July 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 a similar pattern to 2017. The Virtual School is continuing 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.
Quarter 1 - June 2018 performance
The majority of West Sussex Children Looked After continue to attend school on a regular basis and 80% of our children have attendance over 90% with 18% having attended school for 100% of this academic year.  The Virtual School works with all partners to ensure that West Sussex Children looked after are supported in their education through bespoke interventions. The slight dip in overall attendance between May and June 2018 is to be expected as Year 11 students are reaching the end of their time in school and completing their GCSE exams.  This is also the pattern across all children. 
May 2018 Performance
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 both April and May 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 a similar pattern to 2017.
The Virtual School monitors the attendance of all looked after children through Welfare Call (UK). Schools and alternative providers are contacted on a daily basis and all unauthorised absence is followed up with social workers and care settings. Persistent absence is monitored on a monthly basis and is challenged through PEP meetings and discussion with carers and schools. All students have an individual attendance target set within their personal educational plan.
The Virtual School is continuing 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.
December 2017 Performance
Attendance for West Sussex Children Looked After remains below that of the cohort as a whole. Comparison with regional and national:
The 2016 overall attendance figure for West Sussex was 95.2% compared to the South East region (95.6%) and the National figure (96.1%), a difference of 0.4% and 0.9%, respectively.
The figure has widened slightly over the last two years, although, importantly, the unauthorised absence is 1.0% across all areas and West Sussex has been better than or as good as the South East and England.
The position, for the last 4 years, is detailed below. 
For more information, please go to:

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