Parenting contracts for poor attendance

Get advice on parenting contracts, including when to use them in response to problems with behaviour or attendance, and see examples and guidance from local authorities.

Last reviewed on 9 August 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 33863
  1. What is a parenting contract? 
  2. First, try a supportive approach to addressing irregular attendance 
  3. If that doesn't work, consider using a parenting contract
  4. Tailor contracts to the needs of the parents
  5. Record any breaches
  6. Template contracts from LAs

Note: this article is about parenting contracts, which are not the same as parenting orders. A parenting order can only be imposed by the court and does not need parental agreement.

What is a parenting contract? 

A parenting contract is a formal written, signed agreement between parents and either the local authority (LA) or the governing board of a school.

You can use one to address: 

  • Irregular attendance
  • Disruptive behaviour
  • Exclusions that are the result of serious misbehaviour  

First, try a supportive approach to addressing irregular attendance 

Use our articles about understanding a pupil's barriers to attendance and attendance reintegration plans to see how to support children to attend.

Only consider using a parenting contract if none of those strategies are appropriate or work for the pupil in question. 

Parenting contracts are a form of

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