Page last updated 20 May 2016

School Attendance, Truancy and Your Child

We are working with all education providers to improve  children and young people's attendance.

Legislation Changes from September 2013 

Changes to legislation in 2013 mean parents are no longer entitled to take their child on holiday during term time.

Any application for leave must only be in exceptional circumstances and the headteacher must be satisfied that the circumstances are exceptional and warrant the granting of leave. Headteachers would not be expected to class any term time holiday as exceptional.

Parents can be fined by the local authority for taking their child on holiday during term time without the consent of the school.

It’s important that parents understand that the initial fixed penalty notice of £60 is issued to each parent for each child. A two-parent family with two children would be fined £240.

Visit the Department for Education website for more information about the legislation changes. 

Please see below copies of the letter and documentation sent to schools.

Education Entitlement

Remember – it is the responsibility of parents/carers to ensure  their children receive appropriate education at school or otherwise. If your child is ill or unable to attend their education provision for some reason you should always contact the provider on the first day of absence.

Visit the Gov.UK website for more information about school attendance and absence.

All education providers have a duty to secure the regular attendance of their students through

  • regular monitoring of non-attendance
  • early identification of causes for concern
  • swift communication with pupils/parents/carers about the problem
  • finding a resolution to problems and securing return to regular attendance

Remember - whilst parents/carers can give explanations for absence, it is down to individual education providers to authorise reasons given for absence.

Where an improvement is not achieved the provider can choose to draw up a Parenting Contract. If attendance remains unacceptably low the provider will contact the Education Entitlement Team who have the power to prosecute parents for not ensuring that their children receive appropriate education at school or otherwise.

Are you having problems getting your child to school?

If you are a parent/carer and you are having problems getting your child to attend school please contact the provider first or use the EES Contact form

The importance of school attendance

  • Education provides a means of advancement for all young people to improve their life chances.
  • Regular school attendance is a legal requirement for those registered at a school. Without it the efforts of the best teachers and schools will come to nothing.
  • Pupils need to attend regularly if they are to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them.
  • Irregular attendance undermines that educational process and leads to educational disadvantage. It places children at risk and in some cases it can result in pupils being drawn into patterns of anti social or criminal behaviour.

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