Traveller pupils: absence and attendance

Understand the legislation around attendance expectations for Traveller pupils, and find advice on when to authorise absence and which absence codes to use.

Last reviewed on 7 July 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 13079
  1. Who are Travellers?
  2. Traveller children are expected to attend school regularly
  3. Authorising and recording absence

Who are Travellers?

‘Traveller’ is a general term that covers a number of different groups:

  • Roma
  • English and Welsh Gypsies
  • Irish and Scottish Travellers
  • Showmen (fairground people) and Circus people
  • Bargees (occupational boat dwellers)
  • New Travellers

This is explained in the DfE's attendance guidance (page 60).

Traveller children are expected to attend school regularly

Parents/carers must ensure that, when their children are of compulsory school age, they are registered at a school and attend ‘regularly’. 

However, parents/carers of children with no fixed abode have a defence against prosecution if they can prove all of the following:

This applies to parents/carers of pupils