Advice for Parents and Carers
What can you do?
Parents and carers can do a great deal to support the regular and punctual attendance of their children at school:
- Start good habits early (arrive at school on time and keep to school rules)
- Inform the school on the first day and subsequent days of any illness or absence
- Always send in notes to explain an absence including medical evidence for prolonged sickness absence
- Make it known that you don’t approve of poor attendance, lateness or truancy
- Ensure that your children only miss school for authorised reasons such as illness or days specifically set aside for religious observance
- Avoid booking family holidays during term-time whenever possible
- Attend parents' evenings and other school events
- Read all letters that your children bring home from school
- Talk to the school or Education Welfare Service about any problems or difficulties you may be experiencing
- Praise your child’s efforts
- Support school in encouraging good behaviour
- Take an interest in your child’s school work and homework
Remember: a school day lost can never be retrieved, so regular attendance really does matter.
3 days missed in a half-term means less than 91% attendance.
An Attendance of below 80% means your child is missing on average one day per week.
If your child has 80% attendance for their whole secondary school career they will have missed a whole year of schooling by the time they leave school.
Did you know?
The Education Welfare Service (EWS) can assist and support parents and carers by:
- attending meetings at school to help solve problems causing children's poor attendance at school
- contacting other agencies offering specialist support and help to improve attendance
- offering advice to parents on their legal obligation to ensure their children attend regularly and punctually
- The EWS also run initiatives in schools to try and improve attendance. These can consist of:-Lateness monitoring, post registration truancy checks, truancy patrols, parent/pupil interviews, assembly talks etc
Please refer to attendance handbook below
Prosecution for Non Attendance
Parents and carers have a legal responsibility to ensure that their children of compulsory school age receive full-time education. Parents usually choose to fulfil this responsibility by registering their children at a school; however some parents decide to educate their children at home (Elective Home Education).
If your child fails to attend regularly at their registered school then the parent is guilty of an offence under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996.
Please refer to prosecution handbook below
Fixed Penalty Notices
Alternatively from January 2015 Local Authorities, at the request of Headteachers, have the option to utilise Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN's) in respect of unauthorised absences, lateness and holidays taken during term time. These FPN's are an alternative to a prosecution through the Magistrate's Court, and result in a parent/carer being find £120 (reduced to £60 if paid within 28 days). For further information, please refer to the Code of Conduct for FPN's below.
As we know children are sometimes too ill to attend school. All schools monitor attendance and engage with parents as soon as a pattern of absence is identified.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is your child well enough to go out to play?
- Is your child well enough to carry out their daily school activities?
- Does your child have a condition that can be passed on to other children?
- Would you take a day off work if I had the same condition? Always try to inform the school before 9.30am everyday your child is absent due to illness.
- If your child is frequently missing school due to illness, medical confirmation may be requested from your GP and/or a referral may be made to the Education Welfare Service.
Don’t forget to tell the school
Always try to inform the school before 9.30am everyday your child is absent due to illness.
If your child is frequently missing school due to illness, medical confirmation may be requested from your GP and/or a referral may be made to the Education Welfare Service.
For more information please contact the Education Welfare Service (01685) 725000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.