Attendance: the legal requirements
Parents have a legal responsibility to send their child to school. Read on for guidance on authorised absence and learn what to do if pupils aren't attending.
Parents are legally responsible for their child attending regularly
All children of compulsory school age must receive a suitable full-time education.
- Must make sure their child is regularly attending school or 'otherwise' (i.e. another suitable alternative)
- Are guilty of an offence if their child doesn't regularly attend school
The DfE reiterates that responsibility for ensuring attendance lies with parents, including care givers or anyone with 'parental responsibility', in its statutory guidance for schools on page 5.
Neither the legislation nor the DfE’s guidance explains what is meant by 'regular' attendance, and there is no minimum number of days per year that a child needs to attend. However, your local authority (LA) by law must set out in its code of conduct what level of absence will lead to action being taken, so check with