Parents/carers have a responsibility to ensure their child’s regular attendance at school or otherwise. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that their child is educated according to their age, ability and aptitude, and any special educational needs they may have. Failure to ensure regular attendance at school may lead to a penalty notice being issued or legal action this may result in a fine of up to £2,500, imprisonment or a custodial sentence.
Parents may choose to educate their children at home. See Elective Home Education.
School absence is proven to have a significant negative impact upon a child’s educational attainment and further education. Regular attendance is not only a legal requirement but is essential for children/young people to maximise their educational opportunities.
Nottingham City Council and The Education Welfare and EOTAS Service work closely with schools and families to address attendance concerns and school absence. Schools have a duty to refer pupils to the Education Welfare & EOTAS Service when there is irregular attendance.
The Education Welfare and EOTAS Service advise:
- avoid taking holidays in school term-time
- ensure all absence is reported to your school as soon as possible to inform why your child is absent and when you expect them to return
- contact your child’s school to address the reasons for any ongoing absence
Contact the Education Welfare and EOTAS Service if you would like support to help resolve issues relating to school absence or Elective Home Education.
Who classifies as a parent?
Section 576 Education Act 1996 defines a ‘parent’ in relation to any child or young person, includes any person:-
- who is not a parent but who has parental responsibility for them, or
- who has care of them
This also includes absent parents and parental partners (whether they are married or the natural parent of the child) as they have care of the child.
Schools will refer pupils to the Education Welfare Service if:
- A pattern of irregular attendance, lateness or persistent absenteeism is worsening
- Parents do not accept their responsibilities for ensuring their child attends school and are refusing to discuss the matter.
Are you concerned about a child’s attendance?
If you believe that a child may be missing school, the Education Welfare and EOTAS Service need to know straight away.
You need to contact us straight away if you:
- Have noticed a child who does not appear to be attending school regularly
- Believe that a child is not receiving any education
- Have any concerns about children who have gone missing from your area or neighbourhood.
You do not need to give your personal details but if you do all information will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.
Report a concern about a child’s attendance by emailing admin.EducationWelfare@nottinghamcity.gov.uk