The law says:
Parents/carers have a duty to make sure that children of compulsory school age receive an appropriate education. A child reaches compulsory school age the term following their fifth birthday and are legally able to leave school on the last Friday in June of the school year when the child becomes 16-years-old.
Remember - if your child is not in school:
- they may be absent without your knowledge
- they may be at risk
- they are missing out on their education
- you may be issued with a Penalty Notice (the penalty is £60 or £120)
- or you may be prosecuted by the local authority in the Magistrates' Court.
Please note that a Penalty Notice will be issued to each parent/carer individually and for each child. If it is proved that you knew of your child's non attendance and failed without reasonable justification to ensure regular attendance a fine of up to £2,500 and/or a term of imprisonment may be imposed by the court.
The court also has the power to direct a Parenting Order requiring you to attend at counselling and guidance sessions. It can also specify other appropriate action by you as directed by the named Education Welfare Officer on behalf of the council.
You can help your child by:
- working together with your child's school
- letting the school know on the first day of any absence
- not taking your child out of school for holidays in term time/visits/shopping trips
- taking a positive interest in your child's work
- listening to your child
- ensuring your child is ready for the school day
- checking your child's attendance with the school if it is a concern
- making sure your child is not illegally employed or being exploited and has been issued with a permit.
Attending school regularly
Students with good attendance:
- achieve better
- feel happier and gain confidence
- find it easier to make and keep friends
- have better prospects of employment and training
- are less likely to be at risk of harm or be involved in criminal offending.
We can help
If you are concerned about your child's school attendance it is always best to talk to the school first. If you feel unable to do this or would like further help contact the service on 01724 297502 and talk to us. We are open during school holidays.