Changes to attendance recording and daily online return to DfE

From Monday 23 March 2020 educational settings will need to temporarily change their attendance recording practices. To minimise the burden on settings and ensure that only the most important information is submitted, settings must: 

1, Stop taking your normal attendance registers

2. Complete a new streamlined record of attendance for children attending the educational setting using a simple spreadsheet. Instructions about how settings should record attendance are included on the first tab in the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is available here.

3. The spreadsheet will calculate the exact information needed to complete a short online form notifying the Department for Education about your status regarding COVID-19. The online form is available here.

This form is for:

  • Academies (including free schools and studio schools)
  • Local authority maintained schools 
  • Local authority nursery schools
  • Independent schools
  • Non maintained special schools 
  • Pupil referral units
  • University units
  • University technical colleges
  • FE colleges and sixth form colleges

The online form will ask these settings to confirm if you are open and, if so, for information about numbers of pupils and staff attending that day, and provision of free school meals.

The form should take you less than two minutes to complete and be submitted by midday each weekday.

Your data will help us build a national picture of educational provision so that we can focus support more effectively, monitor the impact of the virus, and ensure children are safe.

If your school is closed and you’ve completed the form to say so, you need to resume completing the form daily when you reopen.

You will need a DfE Sign-in account to access the online form. If you don’t have a DfE Sign-in account, you will need to create one here.

Your DfE Sign-in “approver” will need to attach your account to your establishment before you can use the form.

If you are having problems using the DfE Sign-in service, you can request help at 

When submitting a request for help, please select the ‘Other’ category.