The Attendance Support Team track attendance data in schools in East Sussex. This helps to identify issues and barriers to attendance early on.

The team will support schools to manage any concerns. They help the school plan individual or group approaches to improve attendance.

What the Attendance Support Team offer

  • A daily attendance helpline for schools.
  • Opportunities for schools to share best practice.
  • Targeted support meetings to identify and address concerns.
  • Multi-disciplinary support for families and signposting to other council services.
  • Support with legal interventions like parenting contracts, Extended Support Officers, fixed penalty notices, parenting orders and prosecutions.

The Attendance Support Team is part of the new Team Around the School and Setting (TASS).

We work in area-based teams to provide in-school support and advice in:

  • Lewes, Coastal and Wealden
  • Rother, Rye and Hastings
  • Eastbourne and Hailsham

Key documents

Working together to improve school attendance | GOV.UK has the following key documents with guidance for schools, academy trusts and governing bodies:

  • Working together to improve school attendance
  • Summary table of responsibilities for school attendance

Resources for families | Children's Commissioner for England has a 'Guide for parents on school attendance' that you can download.

East Sussex Attendance Delivery Plan 2024-25

School Attendance Process

East Sussex School Attendance Guidance [309.5 KB] [docx]

Reduced Timetable Guidance For Schools [113.5 KB] [docx]

Reflective Checklist [97.7 KB] [docx]

Contact the Attendance Support Team

Attendance helpline

Phone: 01273 481 967 (open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 12.30pm)

Early Help Keywork Level 2 Keywork support for families with children and young people whose attendance is below 50%

ESCC Early Help Service L2 Keywork Team offer’s support to families with severely absent children and young people, providing intensive whole family support over a five month period to identify and reduce the barriers to attending school.

We work closely with the Attendance Support Team (AST) Schools can contact TASS on their dedicated daily advice line for information and guidance 01273 481967 Mon-Fri and should be schools first point of contact.

We have recently reviewed our referral criteria and made a change to detail around terms and who can make a referral within school.


Criterial for referral to Level 2 Keywork Team

  • Child or young person’s attendance has been below 50% for two consecutive terms (6 week/short terms) with a referral being able to be made at any point during the current term when attendance remains below 50%.
  • Referrals will need to be made a via a SoR through the ESCC Portal.
  • Referrals can be made by DSL/DDSL, Attendance leads, SENCO or Head of year, however we ask that the school update their internal systems, so all internal professionals are aware.
  • Schools must clearly demonstrate the intervention that has been carried out to address the attendance concern and re-engage the child or young person to attend.
  • Schools must clearly demonstrate they have worked though Tiers 1-3 as shown on the Attendance flowchart and contacted the Attendance Teams Duty Line.
  • School must email a copy of their School Attendance Plan (formal or informal) as completed with the child or young person and their parents – to the SPOA in-box.
  • Where a child has diagnosed SEN needs, the current Additional Needs Support Plan or EHCP must be submitted with the referral including evidence that it has been regularly reviewed or if it is the process of being applied for, must be evidenced.

All Early Help Keywork Teams take a whole family approach working with parents/carers and children within the family. The intervention will remain voluntary.

Make a referral

The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) makes a statement of referral (SoR) through the Children's Portal.

Email a copy of the school attendance plan (formal or informal) that you completed with the pupil and their parents to

If the pupil has diagnosed special educational needs, include the following with your referral: 

  • Their current additional needs plan (ANP) or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
  • Evidence that you reviewed the ANP or you are applying for an EHCP.

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