School attendance service

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It is the responsibility of parents, schools local authorities to:

  • promote good attendance and reduce absence, including persistent absence
  • ensure every pupil has access to full-time education to which they are entitled
  • act early to address patterns of absence
  • parents perform their legal duty to ensure they children on compulsory school age who are registered at school attend regularly
  • ensure all pupils arrive punctually to school and lessons

Guidance on your child's attendance at school

Attending school every day is crucial for learning, social skills and personal responsibility.

Why attendance at school and punctuality is important

  • 98% attendance means that your child has missed 4 days in the school year
  • 95% attendance means that your child has missed 10 days in the school year
  • 90% attendance means that your child has missed 19 days in the school year
  • 80% attendance means that your child has missed 38 days in the school year
  • 5 minutes late each day means three whole days lost each year
  • 17 days missed from school each year equates to a whole GCSE grade
  • Attendance affects learning, future earning, wellbeing and a sense of belonging

What the law says about school attendance

The law requires all children between the ages of 5 and 16 to be in full time education.

Under Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 it is the duty of the parent/carer of a child of compulsory school age to ensure that they attend school regularly.

  • Education Supervision Order Children’s Act 1989: The local authority can apply to the courts where attendance remains poor. A named education supervisor would be appointed to work with the family for up to 12 months to ensure that the young person receives full time education.
  • School Attendance Order Education Act 1996: If this is issued; parents would be directed to register their child at a school named by the local authority.
  • Penalty Notice: We can issue a warning letter to the parents of a pupil who has had 10 or more unauthorised absences from school. Parents are given a period of 15 school days of monitoring their child's attendance at school. If at the end of this period there has not been an improvement or an improvement has been made but is not sustained, a Penalty Notice will be issued. Each parent/carer would have to pay £60.00 per child. If this is not paid within 21 days, the payment increases to £120.00 per child per parent. Payments will not be accepted after 28 days. If parents do not pay the Local Authority will prosecute in the Magistrates’ Court. If convicted the parent will have a criminal record and may receive a fine of up to £1000.
  • The Department for Education have a range of information available regarding attendance.


Contact us

Tel: 01270 375 255

The Education Welfare Service
Floor 2
Delamere House
c/o Municipal Buildings
Earle Street

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