School attendance and absence

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – school closures

Go to GOV.UK: opening schools and educational settings to more pupils from 1 June – guidance for parents and carers. Check the website of your child's primary school, secondary school or special school for specific information and advice.

Watch our child-friendly video, welcome back to school and nursery. It shows how children can learn and have fun together while still staying safe from coronavirus.

For government guidance for parents and carers to continue their children's education at home, go to Supporting your children's education during coronavirus (COVID-19). Go to GOV.UK: online resources for home education for websites to help children learn at home. BBC Bitesize also offers daily lessons.

Go to GOV.UK: GCSEs, AS and A level awarding for information on how qualifications will be graded and awarded in summer 2020.

Penalty notices

A penalty notice is an alternative to you being taken to court

Each school day is made up of 2 sessions. Your child's school may ask us to issue a penalty notice if, as a result of unauthorised absence, the child has missed:

  • 10 or more consecutive sessions during term time
  • 12 or more sessions within 120 available sessions

Each parent of the child will be issued with a penalty notice. Anyone who has parental responsibility or day-to-day care of a child – even if they don't live with the child or are not a biological parent – may be issued a penalty notice.

The penalty

The penalty is £60 per parent per child if paid within 21 days. This increases to £120 per parent per child if paid within 28 days.

We will prosecute through the magistrates’ court if payment is not made within 28 days. This could lead to a fine of up to £1,000 per parent per child, plus court costs.