A Parent/Carer Guide to Good Attendance

What are my responsibilities regarding my child’s school attendance?

As a parent/carer it is your responsibility to ensure that a child of compulsory school age attends school both regularly and punctually. The Local Authority has a duty to ensure that all parents/ carers fulfil this responsibility.

Why is it important for my child to attend school regularly?

  • Regular school attendance and good punctuality means your child can make the most of their education and this will improve their choices in adult life. It will also help them when they enter the world of work.
  • School helps children and young people with their social skills, making and maintaining friendships, building confidence and self esteem.
  • If your child does not attend school regularly it could affect their attainment grades in exams, tests and assignments because of missed work.

How can I help my child attend school regularly?

  • Always talk to your child about school.
  • Take a positive interest in your child’s work including homework. 
  • Keep in touch with school staff via planners/homework diaries or speaking with their teachers.
  • Always contact your child’s school on the first day of absence.
  • Attend parent’s evening and other school events. 

Can I get help if my child is not attending school regularly?

You should always contact the school first to discuss your concerns. They should be able to offer support and advice. If school staff are unable to resolve the issues they may suggest you contact the Education Welfare Officer for advice and guidance.

What will happen if my child does not attend school regularly?

  • The school should contact you if they are concerned about your child’s attendance.
  • A referral could be made to the Learner Engagement Service (Attendance & Pupil Welfare).

A range of measures will be used to enforce attendance legislation where parents do no fulfil their duty to ensure that their children attend school. These include:  

  • Entry in to the Local Authority Enforcement Procedure which may lead to prosecution in the Magistrates Court and each parent may receive a Parenting Order, a Community Punishment or a fine up to £2500.
  • Each parent can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice for Unauthorised Absence, Non- Cooperation with an Education Welfare Officer or for taking an Unauthorised Holiday in Term time.

Remember school gives your child a wide range of opportunities and experiences both academic and social allowing them to develop their interests and achieve their full potential.