It is important that your child attends school on a regular basis. If a pupil misses one day a week for their entire school career they would lose the equivalent of two school years. The time missed at school can lead to gaps in knowledge that become difficult to fill.
The Council of the Isles of Scilly is aiming to reduce truancy within the Islands by implementing its attendance code of practice (to be ratified).
Remember, if your child is not in school
- they may be putting themselves or others at risk
- they are missing out on educational opportunities
- parents and carers can be fined up to £2,500
What can you do to help?
- Make sure your child arrives at school on time
- Be aware of the school’s rules and routines
- If your child is ill contact the school on the first day they are ill. When the pupil returns to school send an explanatory note of absence.
Ask the school’s permission in advance if you wish your child to miss school for an exceptional reason. These are:
- A day of religious observance
- Family bereavement
Above all, show interest in your child’s school work and maintain contact with your child’s school.
Unacceptable reasons for absence:
- Birthday trips and treats
- Family holidays in term time
- To care for other family members
Holidays in term time
Holidays during term-time should not be taken. Only Head teachers have the discretion to grant leave during term-time, but they should only do so in exceptional circumstances. If a head teacher grants a leave request, it will be for them to determine the length of time that the child can be away from school. Parents have no right to demand that absences are authorised, but should discuss any plans for leave in term-time with the school. Further information is available on the gov.uk website.
Consequences of non-school attendance
If your child does not attend school regularly then the Local Authority may consider one of the following:
- Issuing a penalty notice (currently £60 per parent, per child)
- Court proceedings against you
In Court the Magistrates will hear the case and decide whether a conviction is appropriate. Magistrates are able to:
- Fine each parent up to £1000 under Section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996
- Fine each parent up to £2500 under Section 444(1a) of the Education Act 1996
- Direct the Local Authority to reconsider applying for an Education Supervision Order
- Impose a parenting order under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.