Attendance codes and how they count towards statutory attendance

Attendance codes determine whether a student is marked as present or absent in Arbor. When taking the registers, your teachers can choose the marks of Present (/), Late (L) or No Reason (N), but can amend the N code to a different code if they wish.

Absence codes (not including /,\, L, U) can be prefilled if you add a planned absence.



How did we choose which marks are available?

Our currently available codes are based on the DfE guidance, and as such we do not allow you to create custom attendance codes. In the table below, you can see what each code means, when it should be used, and whether it contributes to your attendance figures. For more information on absence codes, take a look at the DfE's School attendance guide, pages 9-14.

Which mark is used?

When a student is scheduled to be in two academic sessions at once, Arbor will calculate the best mark which will count as their statutory attendance mark. For example, a student is marked as present in their intervention. They were also marked with an N in registration that takes place at the same time. This means they will get a present mark for their Statutory Roll Call mark.

The hierarchy for best marks are:

  1. Present
  2. Present, at an Approved Educational Activity 
  3. Absent, authorised
  4. Absent, unauthorised
  5. Uncounted codes

What event types contribute?

Certain registers, such as clubs, do not contribute towards your Roll Call attendance: Which events contribute towards statutory attendance?

How do the codes impact attendance?

You may find attendance is different than you're expecting if a student has D, L, or U attendance codes. Here are some examples.

U codes count as an absence, so will mean students will have less than 100% attendance. For example, if the student has 26 present marks and 26 U marks, they will have 50% attendance.



D codes don't count, so a student can have lots of D marks and still have 100% attendance.



Students who have all marks that don't count will show N/A in their attendance statistics on their student profile.



Students who have been marked with only absent codes or codes that don't count will show as 0% attendance.



Breakdown of available codes


Full name 


The student is counted as present.
/ or \ Present am or pm Present in school during registration.
L Late Late arrival before the register has closed
The student is counted as present, at an Approved Educational Activity. 
B Educated off Site The student is at an off-site supervised educational activity approved by the school.
J Interview At a job interview, or interviewing with another educational establishment.
P Sporting Activity (Approved) Pupil is taking part in a sporting activity that has been approved by the school and supervised by someone authorised by the school.
V Educational trip A residential trip organised by the school or a supervised strictly educational trip arranged by an approved organisation.
W Work Experience A student in the final two years of compulsory education is attending work experience.
The student is counted as absent, authorised.
C Other Authorised Absence Only exceptional circumstances warrant an authorised leave of absence.
E Excluded If a student is excluded but still on the admission register, they should be marked E, for up to the sixth consecutive day of any fixed period (referred to as 'suspensions' by the DfE from Autumn 2021) or permanent exclusion.
H Family Holiday (Agreed) A leave of absence for a family holiday is granted entirely at the head teacher’s discretion.
M Medical/Dental Appointments The student is absent due to a medical or dental appointment that could not be made outside of school hours.
Religious Observance The student is absent for religious observance on a day designated by the religious body.
S Study Leave Study leave should be used sparingly and only granted to Year 11 pupils for public exams. Students should still be able to come into school to revise.
T Traveller Absence Used when Roma, English and Welsh Gypsies, Irish and Scottish Travellers, Showmen (fairground people) and Circus people, Bargees (occupational boat dwellers) or New Travellers are known to be travelling for occupational purposes and have agreed this with the school.
I Illness This Illness code can be used for any form of illness, if you don't want to distinguish Covid-19 illness.
I01 Illness This code maps to the statutory mark of I. This is for students absent due to non-coronavirus related illness (unless the truthfulness of the claim is in question). This code should not be used for medical or dental appointments.
I02 Confirmed case of Covid-19 This code maps to the statutory mark of I. This is for pupils who have a confirmed case of coronavirus.
The student is counted as absent, unauthorised.
G Family Holiday (Not Agreed) The Holiday was not authorised by the school or in excess of the period determined by the headteacher.
N No Reason The reason for the absence has not been provided. If no reason for an absence is provided after a reasonable amount of time, it should be changed to O.
O Unauthorised Absence If the school is not satisfied with the reason given for absence they should record it as unauthorised.
U Late (After Register Closes) Schools should keep registers open for a reasonable amount of time, after which the student should be marked with a U.
These codes are not counted so will not affect attendance figures.
D Dual Registration The student is registered at another school and attends it during this lesson e.g. students at a pupil referral unit. Schools should only record attendance and absences for sessions the pupil is scheduled to attend at their school. 
X Non-statutory school age absence

Sessions non-compulsory school-age children are not expected to attend. This code should only be used for early years students who have not yet passed the 1st January, 1st April or 1st September following their 5th birthday.

Y Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances The school is closed due to an unavoidable cause or the student is unable to travel to the school. It can also be used where the pupil is in custody (for less than four months). This code is collected for statistical purposes but does not contribute to your attendance figures.
Z Pupil Not On Roll This code can be used when setting up registers in advance of pupils joining. Schools must take attendance for pupils from the first day the student should be attending the school.
# School Closed To Pupils This code should be used for whole or partial school closures that are known or planned in advance such as if the school is used as a polling station.
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