School attendance

Guidance for parents

Having a good education will help to give your child the best possible start in life. We want all school children to get the most out of their education in a North Tyneside school and to do this, they must attend regularly.

Poor school attendance limits a child’s potential and may limit their educational achievement and future opportunities.

Parents' responsibilies

Make sure that your child goes to school every day (unless they are ill) and ensure they arrive on time.   

Make sure your child understands that they should not miss out on going to school.

If your child is ill, make sure you know your child’s school’s rules regarding reporting absence and follow them.

If you need to take your child out of school due to exceptional circumstances ensure you apply to the school for time off and receive confirmation from the school in writing.  You should always state why you need to take your child out of school.

Always ask permission and do not expect the school to agree to time off if there are no exceptional circumstances behind your application.

Children missing school

If you are experiencing any problems with your child attending school, you should contact the school. The school can help you to resolve any issues or difficulties in the first instance.

Sometimes, the school may need to involve other services to provide help and support.  

By law, all children of compulsory school age must be provided with a suitable full-time education. 

As a parent, you are responsible for making sure this happens, either by registering your child at a school and ensuring your child's regular attendance, or by making other arrangements to educate your child other than at school.

Your child’s school will closely monitor pupil attendance.   The school will want to help you if you have a problem. Make an appointment to talk to your child’s school if you have concerns about your child’s attendance.

If attendance is poor without a good reason and does not show signs of improvement, or if you do not accept the help and support offered, the school may ask North Tyneside Council to consider taking enforcement action against you.

Breaking the law

You have a legal duty to ensure your child attends school regularly.  You will be breaking the law if you do not ensure your child attends school regularly if there are no good reasons for missing school.  You must have the school’s permission to take your child out of school in exceptional circumstances.  

Taking your child on holiday is not an exceptional circumstance.

The Supreme Court has confirmed that schools not parents should authorise absence from school and the final decision lies with the Head Teacher.

Penalties for non-attendance

You can be fined for taking your child on holiday during term time without the school’s permission.

Local councils and schools can use various legal powers if your child is missing school without a good reason.

Parenting Order 

This means you have to go to parenting classes. You’ll also have to do what the Court says to improve your child’s school attendance.

Education Supervision Order

If the Council thinks you need support getting your child to go to school but you’re not co-operating, they can apply to a court for an Education Supervision Order.

A supervisor will be appointed to help you get your child into education. The local council can do this instead of prosecuting you, or as well.

School Attendance Order

You’ll get a School Attendance Order if the local council thinks your child isn’t getting an education.

You have 15 days to provide evidence that you’ve registered your child with the school listed in the order or that you’re giving them home education. If you don’t, you could be prosecuted or given a fine.

Penalty notice

Your local Council can give you a fine of £60, which rises to £120 if you don’t pay within 21 days. If you don’t pay the fine after 28 days you may be prosecuted for your child’s absence from school. You can be given one or more of these but the Council doesn’t have to do this before prosecuting you (see updated policy below).

Related documents

Right of appeal

There is no right of appeal once a fine has been issued. We can only withdraw a fine where: 

  • It should not have been issued 
  • It has been issued to the wrong person 
  • If it appears to the Local Authority that it contains material errors 
  • If you have been issued with a fine and believe that one of the above circumstances applies, you should contact North Tyneside Council immediately

Should you require further advice and support about attendance issues contact your child’s school or academy.