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Attendance and Absence from School

Information from Dudley's Local Authority Site



Parents and carers are responsible to ensure that their child is educated.


What should I do if I want to take my child on holiday in term time for any period of time?

Parents/Guardians should not book a family holiday in term time.  Whilst you may think this is beneficial, taking a holiday during term time means that children miss important school time – both educationally and for other school activities. It will be difficult for them to catch up on work later on and it can have a wider impact upon the School.


Whilst it is of course up to you as a parent to decide if you take your child on holiday in term time, however, the School DO NOT have to authorise the absence from school if they do not accept the reasons you give, unless they consider that the circumstances are exceptional. 


The amendments make clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Headteachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.


Any leave of absence is at complete discretion of the Headteacher and only he/she or their delegated person can authorise the absence.


However, if after considering whether there are exceptional circumstances and the School does not agree the absences and you take your child out of school, the School may record this as unauthorised absence. 


This could result in a fixed penalty fine being issued by the Local Authority and as a result you may be fined in respect of each parent and each child.  If you choose not to pay the fine the Local Authority may take legal proceedings against you.


Deletion from the School Roll

Parents need to be aware that their child’s name may be deleted from the School’s Roll if your child does not return to school within any agreed time or the date the absence has not been authorised.


This action will be taken in consultation with the Local Authority who may agree to the removal, upon any return you will have to reapply for admission to a school within the Borough.  A place at your previous school cannot be guaranteed.


What the Law says about school attendance

By law all children of compulsory school age (between age 5 and 16) must receive a suitable full-time education. Section 444 (1a) of the Education Act 1996 requires children and young people of compulsory school age to regularly attend the school at which he/she is on roll. It states if ‘the parent knows that his/her child is failing to attend regularly at school without reasonable justification to cause him to do so, he/she is guilty of an offence’. Upon conviction you may be fined up to £2,500 per parent, per child and/or up to 3 months imprisonment.  If you wish further information please see DMBC Education Investigation Service


Persistent Absence

Collectively authorised and unauthorised absence means “persistent absence”.  The Government identifies children whose absence figure is 10% or more as Persistent Absentees, so children whose attendance falls below 90% may fall into this category.


Condoned Absence

It is all too easy for parents to phone in or write a letter to the School to cover a child’s absence and in the majority of cases most parents are genuine in this regard, but sometimes because of a number of reasons this is not the case.  Please understand that a school DOES NOT have to accept the reasons you give, and ONLY the School can authorise the absence, it is not an automatic right.



Dudley Information Document about Fines for Absence


If your Child is ill

Absence Request Form