Bromley’s Education Welfare Service (EWS) works closely with schools to provide advice, guidance, and support in removing barriers to attendance and supporting children and young people in accessing education. The service aims to raise the attendance of pupils across Bromley and reduce the number of children who are identified as persistently or severely absent (The Department for Education class persistently absence as any young person with attendance under 90 per cent and severely absent as any young person with attendance under 50 per cent).

Schools can choose who they use for their early intervention work - some use Bromley Education Welfare Service, some use independent attendance companies and some employ staff in-house, if you are worried about your child’s attendance, we would suggest you speak to the school first. Bromley EWS can provide advice and guidance on the law, if we do not provide a service to the school that your child attends you can still ask for advice, be mindful that we would not be able to take your matter on as a case.

The Education Welfare Service is also responsible for children missing education, performance licences for children, child employment and chaperone licensing.

For schools requiring information on core/statutory and traded services please see Bromley Education Matters.


Attendance Days missed in a school year Grade
100% 0 Perfect
97% 5 Good
95% 10 Slight concern
90% 20 Concerned (persistently)
85% 30 Very concerned 
80% 40 = 1 day a week Serious concern

Unauthorised and unauthorised absences

When a child is absent from school the absence may be classed as authorised or unauthorised, The Department for Education (DfE) provides guidance to schools on the coding of absences. When the reason for absence is known in advance e.g., medical appointment the school/s should be informed at the earliest opportunity and a copy of the appointment letter should be provided. Often a child will not need to miss the entire day of school for an appointment and can attend school before or after.

The Headteacher makes the decisions about whether the school will authorise the absences. Parents are asked to let the school know the reason on each absence. Advising the school of the reason does not ensure authorisation of the absence. If your child’s attendance is becoming of concern, the school may make the decision to inform you that no further absence can be authorised unless medical evidence is provided.

 Examples of unacceptable reasons for missing school are:

  • birthdays and holidays
  • lack of school uniform
  • looking after siblings or visiting relatives
  • shopping trips
  • waiting in for a delivery


Every day in school matters-but why? Evidence shows that children who attend school regularly have significantly greater chance of achieving their potential.

35.6 per cent of pupils who were identified as persistently absent (attendance below 90 per cent) achieved standard pass grades at GCSE, compared with 67.6 per cent of pupils whose attendance was over 90 per cent. This means when attendance falls below 90 per cent, the chance of achieving pass grades is almost halved. When attendance falls into the severely absence cohort (attendance below 50 per cent), just 11.3 per cent of students achieved pass grades. This shows that attendance has a significant impact on attainment.

Education welfare service