Resources for parents and carers

School attendance

The importance of education – Every child and young person counts!
Having a good education will give a child the best possible start in life and help them to aspire in adulthood.  If children do not receive an appropriate education they put their future at risk and may harm their future opportunity to work in a chosen career or employment. Being absent from school means lost learning opportunities and can have a detrimental impact upon a child’s ability to learn and build positive self esteem.

The Law
Every child or young person is entitled to an education under the Education Act 1996 Section 444. All children of statutory school age are required to receive an education. Statutory education begins the term after a child’s 5th birthday and continues until the last Friday in June after their 16th birthday. However, young people over 16 years are now expected to stay on until 18 years in either further education and/or voluntary work if they cannot find employment.

A parent/carer who fails to ensure that their child receives an education is committing an offence. This may result in a criminal prosecution and fines of up to £2,500 and/or the possibility of up to three months’ imprisonment.

If you are concerned about your child’s attendance, contact the school and ask them for help to address any issues.

Further Information:

The Education Welfare Service is a statutory agency and can be contacted by email or telephone 020 8379 3745.