School Attendance and the Law
Please note; guidance for schools is available Here
Regular attendance at school is important. Failing to attend school regularly can have a major impact on children’s education, their future and their life chances. Regular attendance means attending school every day, arriving at school on time and attending
Under section 7 of the Education Act 1996, parents are responsible for ensuring their child (of statutory school age) receives efficient full time education that is suitable to the child’s age, ability and aptitude and to any special educational needs the child
may have. This can be through regular school attendance or otherwise.
Parents who fail to ensure their children attend school regularly without good reason could:-
- Receive a Penalty Notice Fine of £60 per parent per child
- Be prosecuted in the magistrate’s court and be fined up to £1,000
- In more serious offences, or where parents have been previously prosecuted they could be fined up to £2,500 or face imprisonment
The legal measures available to Local Authorities in respect of School Attendance are detailed in the DFE document "School Attendance: Statutory Guidance and departmental advice" this document can be found
Bradford Children's Services guidance for issuing penalty notices for unauthorised leave of absence in term time can be found Here.
Penalty Notice request for Holiday/Leave of Absence Here
Prosecution Advice for Schools - Non School Attendance
Where schools buy-in or employ their own independent educational welfare provider they cannot prosecute parents as this power remains solely with the Local Authority. However, they can make referrals to the Local Authority, which then decides whether
to prosecute parents. Please see guidance for schools Here
Prior to making a referral for Penalty Notices or Prosecution please ensure you consider the questions on the checklist below and provide related evidence as part of the referral.
If poor attendance is due to Covid-19 please see the checklist Here and complete the referral Here.
If poor attendance is not due to Covid-19 please see the checklist Here and complete the referral Here.
To ensure the Local Authority has the right information available to consider your request for Penalty Notice or Prosecution please include all information on the checklist in the referral.
Failure to do this may result in the referral being returned for more information.
Please ensure all referrals are completed electronically and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Page owned by Waheeda Shah, last updated on 17/06/2021. This page has been viewed 22,278 times.