School attendance & absence
Going to school regularly is important to your child’s future. Children who miss school frequently can fall behind with their work and do less well in exams.
Good attendance shows potential employers that your child is reliable. Research suggests that children who attend school regularly could also be at less risk of getting involved in antisocial behaviour or crime.
By law, all children become compulsory school age at the beginning of the first term following their 5th birthday. Once a child is of compulsory school age children must receive a suitable full-time education. For most parents, this means registering their child at a school. However, some choose to make other arrangements to provide a suitable, full-time education.
Once your child is registered at a school, you are legally responsible for making sure they attend regularly. If your child fails to do so, you risk getting a penalty notice or being prosecuted in court.
If your child is ill or unable to attend school for some reason, you should contact the school by phone to notify them. Depending on the reasons for absence, the Head Teacher will decide whether the absence can be authorised or not. Where absence is sickness related schools may require medical certification, particularly where the absence lasts a few days.
Absence from school is likely to be recorded as unauthorised absence when:
In either of these situations you could face prosecution.
Head Teachers are no longer permitted to agree a Leave of Absence during term time unless in exceptional circumstances. This includes where parents decide to take their children out of school for a family holiday during term time. If a parent intends to take their child out of school for a leave of absence during term time, they must have requested this in advance and had their request agreed by the Head Teacher. Failure to do this could result in a fine or prosecution.