Managing attendance for Religious Observances and holidays

As explained on page 13 of the DfE's attendance guidance here, schools must treat the absences for religious observance (such as Eid) as authorised. You can use the R: Religious observance attendance code to reflect this on a student's attendance record. There are two ways that these marks can be added in Arbor:

  • Record a planned absence to fill attendance marks on opening with the right code
  • Use the Bulk Edit Marks page to edit the code after registers have been taken


For a religious family ceremony

You may find that guardians make requests for students to miss school to attend christenings, bar/bat mitzvahs, etc.

Absence requests like this are normally treated processed in the same way as a normal absence request and should not be treated in the same way as a religious observance. The following attendance codes would be suitable to use:

Attendance Code Reason
C (Authorised absence) Advisable to use if you approve the absence request.
O (Unauthorised absence) If you do not approve the absence request, but the student is absent anyway.


If you are still unsure as to what attendance code to use, please contact the DfE or your Local Authority. 

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