Failure to secure attendance at school
Produced in partnership with Mark Blois of Browne Jacobson
Failure to secure attendance at school

The following Local Government practice note Produced in partnership with Mark Blois of Browne Jacobson provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Failure to secure attendance at school
  • The offences of failing to secure regular attendance at school
  • Fails to attend regularly
  • Proof of regular attendance
  • Statutory exemptions
  • Walking distance
  • Unavoidable cause
  • Pupils at boarding school
  • Children of no fixed abode
  • Sentencing for the offences of failing to secure regular attendance
  • More...

Coronavirus (COVID-19): This Practice Note contains guidance on subjects impacted by the Coronavirus Act 2020 (CA 2020). CA 2020, ss 37–38, Sch 16 Pt 1–Sch 16 Pt 3, Sch 17 Pt 1–Sch 17 Pt 3, among other measures, made provision to require temporary closure of educational institutions and to make temporary continuity directions in relation to childcare, education and training by way of statutory instruments and/or guidance.

Starting in the 2020 autumn term, pupil attendance will return to being mandatory save in certain circumstances where pupils cannot attend school due to coronavirus (COVID-19). In this case, parents would not be penalised and this would not count as an absence. See: Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020, SI 2020/816 and Addendum: recording attendance in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19) during the 2020 to 2021 academic year. For further information as to the current impact on this content, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—education tracker.

The offences of failing to secure regular attendance at school

The Education Act 1996 (EA 1996) imposes criminal liability on a parent who fails to ensure that their child receives regular education.

All the offences created by the EA 1996 are summary only, which means they can only be tried in the magistrates' court.

See Education Act offences.

Before taking legal action, the local authority must consider whether they should apply for an Education Supervision Order.

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