How to manage partial school closures from March 2020

The following documentation has been written in response to the recent Government directives around UK school closures and in response to the global pandemic, Covid-19. We will keep this page updated with FAQs, as more information is provided and as schools provide us with feedback.

Last updated: 25/03/2020 12:00

Do schools need to take an attendance register?

During this period, schools do not need to take an attendance register. For administrative purposes, Code # (planned or partial closure) should be used.

However, the DfE have asked schools to submit a short daily return, reporting whether they are open and how many children and staff are in school. This will allow for a record of attendance for safeguarding purposes and allow schools to provide accurate, up to date information to the government.

The Government have also provided a record of attendance spreadsheet as a tool to help with registration; however, this is not mandatory and schools are not required to submit this document. We’ve created a new report to make submitting this daily return as simple as we can, so that you can continue to use Pupil Asset for school meals, timetabling, registration and parent communications.

How do I set a # code in Pupil Asset?

This can be done via Admin > School Options > Calendar Setup.

Key Child / Critical Worker Flags

We have developed the Key Child flag so that you can quickly identify key children for attendance, communications and other administrative tasks.

Schools may also wish to be able to track pupils of critical workers separately and so this flag has also been introduced and can be edited in the same way as setting a Key Child.

NB: If a pupil is recorded as a child of a critical worker, they will automatically be recorded as a Key Child.

How to set pupils as a Key Child / child of Critical Worker

This can be set en-mass using Multi Edit in Pupil List.

Navigate to Pupils > Pupil List and make sure that you have Whole School selected as the Filter. Open Display Options to choose columns you wish to show – you will need to select Pupil Name and Key Child or Child of Critical Worker.

You can now work down the list, ticking the box for pupils who you wish to flag.

If you want to make ad-hoc changes to these Flags you can do this via their profile and the Search function.

Search for their name using the Search Bar at the top of the page and click through to their profile.

Select the Edit tab (you will need edit access) and tick or untick the box which is directly under their UPN.

Press Save.

Once set, the Filter can be used to select the relevant pupils. This new Filter option is designed to show your new ‘whole school’ information and can be used for meals, text messaging and emails.

Creating your registration group(s)

Use the Filter to select the Key Child pupils. You can either save all of these pupils as a group, or use the Pupil Picker (the number next to the word Filter) to select some of the pupils for a group. These group(s) will become your new registration groups.

Once you have selected the correct pupils in the Filter, click Save as group.

When you save the group, you will be directed to Pupils > Groups where you can edit it. Please ensure that you have ticked Timetabled Teaching Group. You can also assign the teaching staff who may be taking the register throughout the week and add the group to their timetable.

Staff can register this group instead of their class registers.

  • They can also cover this group in the same way that they would cover a class.
  • They can leave out any pupils who are not in school at that particular time and the system will not count them in your figures for the day.
  • They can assign meals in the usual way at AM registration.

Attendance reporting for daily DfE returns

Navigate to Office. Here you will find a new report which lists the pupils in school and totals the groups for you.

You can download this report as an Excel file or into Google Sheets, to allow printing without particular columns visible – so that you can use as a signing out sheet. Or you can print in full from Pupil Asset for your records or to cross reference data if you wish.

If your school hosts additional pupils in the future they can be registered as Guest Pupils and you can record their enrolment school, this in turn will populate the report.


Navigate to Office > School Meals and ensure that the Key Child filter is still switched on. This will create a dinner list for the school kitchen in the format that they are used to.

*Please note – if your usual school administrator is not in school at the moment, anyone with ADMIN access or above should be able to see the OFFICE tab. If you are a member of a MAT, this may include someone in your central team. If you are unsure of any of these steps our support desk is open each day and will be very pleased to help you.


Q. How do we change User Access Levels so staff can see parent contact details?

A. Access Admin users can manage users’ access by navigating to Admin > Access Control. View contact details can be set for groups of users or for individual users and will allow those with this access to view pupil and parental contact details. As a default, this is not ticked for Teacher or TA users.

Q. Can we send emails/SMS to Key Children only?

A. Yes. Follow the instructions from the following how-to guides and ensure that either the Key Child indicator is on in the Filter or that you have used the Filter to choose a specific pupil group.

How to send SMS’

How to send Emails’

Q. How can we manage guest pupils?

A. Add the pupil in the normal way, if you’ve not done this before, see this page: How to add pupils’.

Use the Search Bar to find the new pupil and then navigate to Pupil Profile > Edit. Open the centre pane Extended Pupil Details.

Set the Learning Enrolment Status to Guest (pupil not registered here but attending some lessons/sessions).

As the pupil will not be required to appear on any statutory census reporting you have to remove the Include in Census tick.

Save at the bottom of the page.

Q. How do I allow registration during the Easter Holidays?

If your school is going to be providing childcare during the Easter Holidays and you want to use Pupil Asset to record attendance, there are two simple steps to set this up.

1. Navigate to Admin > School Options > Calendar Set Up and change the date range for Spring pt 2 to cover until the end of the Easter Holiday. Click Save term dates.

2. Once saved, you’ll need to set the school as partially closed for the newly changed time period. Beneath the term dates on the same page you can enter the dates your school wants to record attendance for. This will mark your school as ‘Closed’ but the system will allow you to overwrite the # codes for children in attendance.

Your teachers will still be able to access the registers from the widgets on their Dashboard page and Office users and above can mark attendance in Office > Registration > Registers.