The law says that every child must receive a suitable education appropriate to their age, ability and needs. It is the responsibility of parents/carers to make sure that all their children of statutory school age are receiving an education. The overwhelming majority of parents/carers choose to send their children to school and having done so they are then required to ensure that they attend regularly.
The Government considers that children should attend school at least 93% of the time (around 4 ½ days a week on average) and that any child who attends less than 85% of the time (3 ½ days a week on average) is a ‘persistent absentee’ and they will be less likely to do well at school. For this reason the Government discourages parents taking children out of school for holidays in term-time and advises Head Teachers to only allow this in ‘exceptional circumstances’.
If parents/carers fail, without a reasonable excuse, to ensure that their children attend regularly they can be prosecuted or a Penalty Notice may be issued. The maximum penalty is a £2500 fine and/or imprisonment. Should you have any concerns about your child’s attendance or need support please contact the Education Welfare Service.
The County Council has commissioned Babcock LDP to monitor school attendance and to support schools in their efforts to raise school attendance. Their Education Welfare Service do this by encouraging schools to take a ‘whole school’ approach to attendance by, for example, rewarding pupils with excellent attendance or by holding attendance competitions between classes. The Service also accepts referrals about individual children where the school has concerns about their attendance.
Further information can be found on the Babcock LDP website.
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Also on devon.gov.uk
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Education Welfare Service
Great Moor House
Exeter EX2 7NL