FAQs - Full opening guidance for schools

Updated 7 November 2020

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable pupils

The DFE have now published their updated guidance on attendance for CEV pupils.

On the DFE website the section on education settings says:

More evidence has emerged that shows there is a very low risk of children becoming very unwell from COVID-19, even for children with existing health conditions. Most children originally identified as clinically extremely vulnerable no longer need to follow this advice. Speak to your GP or specialist clinician, if you have not already done so, to understand whether your child should still be classed as clinically extremely vulnerable.

Those children whose doctors have confirmed they are still clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend school while this advice is in place. Your school will make appropriate arrangements for you to be able to continue your education at home. Children who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, but who are not clinically extremely vulnerable themselves, should still attend school.


  • Attendance at school is mandatory for all pupils
  • The Plymouth Penalty Notice Code of Conduct continues to apply
  • Schools and LAs should work through the summer, with parents and families who have concerns about returning.
  • Work with PCC Inclusion Attendance and Welfare Service for cases where you are anticipating persistent absence
  • Parents have a duty to ensure that their child attends regularly at their education setting where they are a registered pupil, if they are of compulsory school age
  • It is the settings' responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence
  • Sanctions, including fixed penalty notices can be issued in line with Plymouth's codes of conduct
  • Under usual circumstances "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. If it cannot find a practical way of doing this then it is not required to make up the lost sessions."
  • As attendance is mandatory, Plymouth advises that schools should maintain usual term dates and not to plan increases in the number of inset days beyond 5, or extend the summer closure period, unless this is unavoidable or can be made up.
  • Usual school processes apply in determining and changing term dates, but the length of the school day can be temporarily extended to make up time.

Plymouth's attendance guidance for schools September 2020 

This guidance has been produced to support schools and other education settings to prepare attendance arrangements for the new academic year 2020-2021 as we enter the 'Recovery Phase' following the COVID-19 outbreak. The guidance has been produced to help schools and settings target attendance related activities before and during the summer holidays and in the new academic year to help support pupils successfully return to education.      

Icon for pdf Download the attendance guidance  [893.19KB]

If you have any questions or feedback about these pages please email childrensservicesresponse@plymouth.gov.uk

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