We believe that the welfare of children and young people is of primary importance.
We work with parents who may be experiencing difficulty to ensure that their children attend school regularly.
We also work closely with schools and a number of agencies to promote children's welfare and their education.
Referrals are received from schools. Each school has a named Education Welfare Officer. We offer support, advice and expertise to other services, agencies, parents and carers. This includes:
- improving attendance at school
- reducing truancy
- tackling persistent absences
The education law states that parents are responsible for ensuring that their registered children of compulsory school age (five to 16 years old) attend school regularly. We have a duty to make sure that parents and carers undertake this responsibility. If a child of compulsory school age (who is registered at a school) fails to attend regularly at the school, the parent is guilty of an offence. Regularly, means in accordance with the rules prescribed by the school, which is as per the school’s term time calendar.
Reducing absence from school is a key priority at both national and local level as missing school reduces a pupil’s educational attainment chances and increases vulnerabilities and risks. If a parent fails to secure regular school attendance at school or alternative provision, they could face a Penalty Notice or prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court which, if convicted, could result in a fine of up to £2500 and/or a three month custodial sentence. See Penalty Notice leaflet [PDF, 285Kb] for more details.
If you have any concerns regarding your child’s attendance, please speak to the school so that they can look at ways of helping you.
Education Welfare Penalty Notice
Pay your Education Penalty