Being in school is important for many reasons.
A child becomes of compulsory school age when they reach the age of five and, where a parent has elected to register their child at school, they must start school in the term following their fifth birthday at the latest (although parents of many children choose to send them earlier). A child continues to be of compulsory school age until the last Friday in June in the school year that they reach the age of 16. After this age, the legal requirement to participate in education or training will fall to the young person.
Sunderland City Council has a legal obligation to provide education for all children and enforce the law relating to school attendance. This legal obligation is discharged by Attendance. Their prime role is to promote and enforce regular school attendance through advice and support to schools, pupils and their families. Their ultimate aim is to ensure every pupil has the opportunity to enjoy school, and achieve as much as they can from their school experience. To enable them to improve their chances in adult life when they enter the world of work; there is clear evidence of a link between poor attendance at school and low levels of achievement
Parents/carers have a duty to ensure that children of compulsory school age receive a suitable education either by regular attendance at school or otherwise. Whatever the reason, pupils who are absent for 10% or more school days are classed as persistent absentees. Only your child's school can authorise an absence. If your child has an unacceptable level of attendance at school, which the school can't resolve, the school may refer your child to Attendance
The current law does not give any entitlement to parents to take their child on leave during term time. Any application for leave must be in exceptional circumstances and the head teacher must be satisfied that the circumstances warrant the granting of leave. These circumstances will be determined by your child's school. You must allow enough time for the head teacher to consider your request before leave is taken. It is possible that the head teacher may refuse permission. Parents can be issued with a penalty notice or prosecuted for periods of unauthorised holidays.
Remember if your child is not in school:
Good attendance at school is the single most important factor in ensuring that children and young people have the best opportunities in adult life.
How can you help:
Download our Information for Parents and Carers.
For further information please contact the Attendance team on 0191 561 5601 or 561 5817.