School Attendance

What is regular school attendance?

  • Attending school everyday unless there is a very good reason for absence.
  • Getting to school on time.
  • Being present at school for both morning and afternoon sessions.

Children who attend school regularly are more likely to:

  • Keep up with school work.
  • Develop good habits and important life skills.
  • Maintain friendships.
  • Gain better qualifications.
  • Have access to a wider range of opportunities when they leave school.
  • Stay away from harm.

What does the law say about parental duty concerning children's education?

  • Parents must make sure that their children receive efficient full time education in school or elsewhere.
  • Once a child is registered at school, the parent must make sure that the child attends regularly.
  • Parents should inform the school of the reasons for any unavoidable absence on the first day.
  • Parents may request term time absence only in special or exceptional circumstances; this should be made in writing to the head teacher.
  • Giving as much notice as possible.

At what age do children have to start school and when can they leave?

Children must receive full-time education from the start of the school term after their fifth birthday until the end of June in the school year in which they turn 16.

What is unauthorised absence?

Only the headteacher can decide if the reason given for absence is acceptable. If the head teacher decides that the reason given for absence is unacceptable, the absence will remain unauthorised.

Parents can face legal and financial sanctions if their child fails to attend school

  • Fixed Penalty Notices to the amount of £ 120, this amount will reduce to £ 60 if paid within 21 days.
  • An Education Supervision Order issued by the family court.
  • Prosecution in a Magistrates' court.