School attendance and absence

Why your child must go to school

Parents and carers have a legal duty to make sure that their children receive full-time education. School attendance is vital in a child's educational and social development.

By truanting or by being absent from school without reasonable justification, your child:

  • misses out on valuable teaching
  • runs the risk of becoming a victim of crime or getting involved in crime
  • develops bad habits of poor reliability and time-keeping, which risks long-term unemployment

Employers found illegally employing school children are liable to prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000

Parents and carers can be prosecuted, fined or even sent to prison if they don't make their children attend school regularly and punctually, or if they condone their absence from school without reasonable justification.