You are here:
Attendance: the legal requirements
Parents have a legal responsibility to send their child to school. Read on for guidance on authorised absence and learn what to do if pupils aren't attending.
Parents are responsible for making sure their child attends school
All children of compulsory school age must receive a suitable full-time education.
Section 7 of The Education Act (1996) says parents must make sure their child is regularly attending school or 'otherwise' (i.e. another suitable alternative). Section 444(1) of the same Act says parents are guilty of an offence if their child doesn't regularly attend school.
The Department for Education (DfE) statutory guidance for schools (page 5) reiterates that responsibility for ensuring attendance lies with parents, including care givers or anyone with ‘parental responsibility’.
Neither the legislation nor the DfE’s guidance explains what is meant by 'regular' attendance, and there is no minimum number of days per year that a child needs to attend. However, your local authority (LA) by law must set out in its code of conduct what level of absence will lead to
More from The Key
Bitesize training with a big impact
Our on-demand training has your whole board covered and lets them learn at a time and pace that suits them.
Help your new governors hit the ground running with our expertly-designed induction training, and our role-specific courses support your link governors develop key skills and confidence in their role.
The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.