By law, all children of compulsory school age (5-16 years) must receive a full-time education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude.
Parents are required by law to make sure their children attend school regularly. For further information see the Education Act (1996) Section 444.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s attendance, in the first instance please contact your child’s school.
Children’s Services attendance team deal with issues concerning pupils who are not attending school regularly.
Every school has access to an Attendance and Entitlement Officer for help and advice on issues concerning pupil specific attendance. They can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the attendance duty line on 01603 223681.
You must make sure that your child gets a full-time education between the school term after their 5th birthday and the last Friday in June in the school year that they turn 16. You can send your child to school or educate them yourself.
You will be contacted by your child’s school if your child doesn’t turn up for school, even if they’re only absent for a day.
Parents are legally responsible for ensuring that their child attends school regularly, and your child’s school will work with you to improve your child’s attendance. If this is not achieved, the school may refer you to the Children’s Services attendance team, who may issue you with a summons to appear in court. If parents are convicted in court, they may be fined up to £1,000.
In some circumstances, if the parents have knowingly allowed their child to be absent from school, they may be fined up to £2,500 or even sent to prison for 3 months.
If your child is going to be absent from school, you should contact your child’s school on the first morning of any absence by phone or in person. You should explain the reason for your child’s absence and indicate when you think he or she is likely to return. You should also do this if you child is going to be late.
If you do not notify the school, the school will probably try and contact you. The school may also decide to record your child’s absence as unauthorised.
You can only allow your child to miss school if:
- They’re too ill to go in
- You’ve got advance permission from the school
- Unavoidable reasons, that you should discuss with the school
There is extra support available if your child can’t go to school for long periods because of a health problem.