School attendance and children out of education

Parents have a legal duty to make sure children aged between 5 and 16 attend school regularly and arrive on time, unless any of the following apply:

If your child does not attend school regularly, or you take them out of school without the permission of the head teacher, we can take action to improve attendance

School attendance issues

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  • 98% attendance sounds good but still means your child has missed 4 days in the school year
  • 80% attendance means your child has missed 38 days in the year
  • 5 minutes late each day means 3 whole days lost each year
  • poor attendance harms learning and future outcomes - children who miss 17 days each year on average see their GCSE results drop by a full grade
  • poor attendance reduces wellbeing - children miss out on making friends, building confidence and achieving successes

We work in partnership with schools and families to promote regular school attendance. If you as a parent are worried about your child’s attendance you should speak to the school. Don’t wait until the situation escalates, school can offer practical ideas and support to help your child. However if you are not satisfied with the schools response you can refer to the schools complaints procedure on the schools website.

Your child's school may contact us on 01270 375255 if they are concerned about a child's attendance.  We will advise schools to look at the reasons for poor attendance and make recommendations on how they can support the child and family to increase attendance. This may include bringing in other agencies, to make sure the child gets the right help.

We may issue penalty notice letters and fines if the situation does not improve. We can also prosecute parents if they do not co-operate to help the child.

You can report children who are not registered at a school and not being educated anywhere else as children missing education (CME)

Our Fair Access Protocol (agreement) acts as a safety net for particular groups of children who are having problems getting a school place outside the standard September entry point.

Contact Attendance and Children Out of School Service 

Telephone: 01270 375255

You can leave a voicemail message on this number. All messages are picked up daily and staff will respond within that week.

Attendance and Children Out of School Team
Floor 5
Delamere House
Delamere Street

Page last reviewed: 17 November 2023