Parents are legally responsible for making sure that their child attends school. If a child fails to attend school without acceptable reason parents risk getting a penalty notice or being prosecuted.

Arranging appointments and outings after school hours, at weekends or during school holidays will help to prevent disruption to a pupil’s education and to the school.  Parents should not expect their child’s school to agree to their child going on holiday during term time and if parents do take them out of school this too may result in a penalty notice.

Amendments have been made to the 2006 regulations in the Education (Pupil Registration)(England)(Amendment) Regulations 2013 [external link] with effect from 1 September 2013.

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, in these exceptional circumstances.

The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) Regulations 2007

Amendments have been made to the 2007 Regulations in the Education (Penalty Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 [external link] with effect from 1 September 2013.

The regulations set out the procedures for issuing penalty notices (fines) to each parent who fails to ensure their children’s regular attendance at school or fails to ensure that their excluded child is not in a public place during the first five days of exclusion.

Parents must, from 1 September 2013, pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days. This brings attendance penalty notices into line with other types of penalty notices and allows local authorities to act faster on prosecutions.

Deleting a pupil from the admission register

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 currently do not provide for a school to delete a pupil from the admission register where the pupil has ceased to be of compulsory school age and has failed to meet the academic requirements for entry to their sixth-form.

Amendments to the 2006 Regulations will allow bringing the regulations into line with the new School Admissions Code 2012 [external link], which allows schools to set academic requirements for entry into sixth form.