School attendance

Parent and carer responsibilities

By law, all children of compulsory school age (between 5 and 16) must receive and have the right to a suitable, full-time education.

Your legal responsibility, as a parent or carer, is to ensure that your children of school age receive a suitable full-time education, by:

  • enrolling your child at a school or
  • making alternative arrangements for a full-time education provision.

Once enrolled at a school it is your legal responsibility to ensure that your child attends school regularly and arrives on time each day.

Good attendance is above 96 per cent. Unauthorised absence is illegal. A child who attends school 90 per cent or below is a persistent absentee. However, appropriate levels of attendance depend on the child’s individual circumstances.

Parents and carers are encouraged to maintain good attendance by:

  • making sure they and their child understand the importance of school attendance and punctuality
  • getting involved and showing interest in their child’s school work and activities
  • talking to the headteacher if your child has any issues which could affect attendance levels.

Guides for parents