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Attending school

23 January 2017

As a parent or carer, you are legally responsible for making sure your child receives a full time education.

If your child is a registered pupil at a school who fails to attend regularly, you are guilty of an offence. This can result in a prosecution.

Children must get an education between the school term after their fifth birthday and the last Friday in June in the school year they turn 16.
 

Authorised absence

Only the school can authorise an absence. An authorised absence is where the school has given approval in advance or has accepted an explanation offered afterwards.
 
By not authorising an absence, the school is saying that either a reason has not been provided, or the reason provided is not acceptable.
 
You should contact the school as early as possible to explain why your child needs to be absent and to obtain permission. Schools will usually only authorise absences due to:
 
  • illness
  • medical appointments and other special circumstances approved by the school
  • unavoidable causes such as bad weather conditions
  • religious observance where applicable.

Holidays during term time

There is no entitlement for you to take your child on holiday during term time. You can be fined for taking your child on holiday during term time without consent from the school.
 
See our holidays during term time page for more information.
 
 
 

Further information