Managing Attendance

In this guide, we'll explain what attendance data Insight stores, how it is used and how you can ensure this data is kept up to date.

Statutory attendance data

What attendance data is in Insight?

Insight holds attendance data to match that which is transferred via the DfE specified Common Transfer File (CTF).

For each pupil, and each academic year, Insight can record the following attendance figures:

  • Number of possible sessions
  • Number of session attended
  • Number of authorised absences
  • Number of unauthorised absences

A "session" means morning or afternoon session. So a pupil can be present for AM but absent for PM.

This data enables Insight to meet your requirement for parental reporting and to produce attendance analysis.

What attendance data is not in Insight?

Insight does not contain detail about individual sessions. These are not required to produce overall attendance totals and are not included in a CTF.

Similarly, Insight does not record all the different attendance codes that are available in your MIS for registration purposes. Again, these codes exist to provide further explanation for an authorised or unauthorised absence and are not required for the overall figures.

Attendance code N: Reason for absence not yet provided

Your MIS will include the ability to indicate that an absence is unexplained. This exists to allow a short time to establish how an absence should be categorised.

DfE specification defines these as Unauthorised Absences.

Unauthorised absence is absence without leave from a teacher or other authorised representative of the school. This includes all unexplained or unjustified absences.

However, as they are usually very short term, Insight will ignore these by default. If you want to include them in the count this can be achieved through the MIS Sync Settings.

Including Unexplained could have an impact on parent reports, if any unexplained absences are subsequently authorised. It is worth ensuring your MIS has no unexplained absences before producing any parent reports featuring attendance data.

Keeping attendance data updated

Syncing attendance data with your MIS

The easiest way to keep attendance data updated is via MIS sync. If you're already syncing data with your MIS, all the attendance data will be taken care of, and you shouldn't need to do anything more. If not yet set up, just get in touch with support.

Updating attendance information via CTF 

If you need, or want, to use CTF to update attendance we recommend you import a CTF before you want to complete any analysis which includes attendance data, to ensure it is up-to-date.

If you're using SIMS, your attendance records for the current and past academic years first need to be completed right up to the date you create your CTF, otherwise your CTF may  not include attendance records for those years with missing information. 

This is the case even if you change the run date when generating your CTF.
See our SIMS guide for details.

In addition, please ensure "Collect Attendance Data From" in section 3 is set to "SIMS Attendance Module".

See our guide on importing a CTF for details.

Manually updating a pupil's attendance records

If there are individual amends that you would like to make to attendance records, it is also possible to manually update a pupil's file.

Only Admin users have permission to do this.

Select Pupils from the menu bar and click the pupil name you're interested in.

Choose Edit Profile to see the detailed contextual data for the pupil.

Scroll down to the Attendance section.

Simply click in any cell to amend its contents.

Insight will allow you to enter invalid values. For example, Possible Sessions could be entered as a lower value than Sessions Attended. If manually entering data, be careful to ensure its accuracy.

When complete, click Save at the bottom of the screen.

When showing a pupil's attendance as a percentage, we divide [number of sessions attended] by [number of possible sessions] and times by 100.

Viewing attendance information 

Pupil Attendance Information can be viewed either on individual pupil pages, by selecting Pupils from the menubar, or searching for the pupil by name in the Search pupils... tool. 

A detailed breakdown of attendance data may be viewed via Reports > Demographics.

Tables reports may also include attendance information.

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