School absence

Every school day matters

Regular attendance at school will help your child get the most from their education.

Pupils who attend regularly are likely to leave school with more qualifications and greater access to employment opportunities. Avoidable absences, such as term-time holidays, disrupt your child's learning.

You also have a legal duty to secure your child's regular and punctual attendance at school.

Pupils who miss around 10% of school sessions, whether the absence is authorised or unauthorised, are considered persistent absentees.

If you fail to secure your child's regular attendance, you could be prosecuted under section 444 of the Education Act 1996.

If found guilty, you could face:

  • a fine of up to £2,500 and/or
  • three months imprisonment plus legal costs
  • if convicted, you could get a criminal record

A 90% attendance means children miss 19 days of education in a year - and risk dropping one grade at GCSEs. Five C grades become Five D grades.

For more information on persistent absence, please view or download our leaflet below:

Fixed Penalty Notices

Absence not authorised by the school may result in a Fixed Penalty Notice. For more information, see the main Fixed Penalty Notice webpage, and the leaflet Unauthorised Penalty Notices (PDF 966kb)

Requesting leave from schools for holidays

Please see our requests for leave from school for holidays webpage.

Illness and Attendance

If your child is too ill to attend school, please contact the school on the first day of absence.  A mild cold or a headache are not sufficient reasons to keep your child off school; please see our Guidance to Parents on Schools and Illness (PDF 2.44 MB)

Concerns or queries?

If you have any concerns or queries, please email the Access to Education Team on or call 01273 291378.