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

  • 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

Your child's school may refer you to us if they are unhappy with the child's attendance record. Parents, children themselves and anyone who is concerned about a child can also contact us direct - email us or call us on 01270 375255.

We will meet with the parents, child and school to look at the reasons for the poor attendance and draw up a support plan. 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.

Actions we can take when children miss school

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 us

Attendance and Children out of School Team
Floor 5
Delamere House
c/o Municipal Buildings
Earle Street

Page last reviewed: 23 April 2021