Parents and carers can do a great deal to support the regular and punctual attendance of their children at school:
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.
The Education Welfare Service (EWS) can assist and support parents and carers by:
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:
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.