Coronavirus (Covid-19) update

From the start of the autumn term 2020 pupil attendance will be mandatory and the usual rules on attendance will apply including:

  • parents’ duty to ensure that their child of compulsory school age attends regularly at the school where the child is a registered pupil
  • schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence
  • the ability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices, in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct

It is vital that children and young people return to school and college, for their educational progress, for their wellbeing, and for their wider development.

This includes pupils who are clinically extremely vulnerable.  Shielding advice for all adults and children paused on 1 August 2020. This means that even the small number of pupils who will remain on the shielded patient list can return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding.

If in future, rates of the disease rise in local areas, children still on the shielding list (or family members still on the shielding list) from that area may be contacted by the government and advised to stay at home and shield during the period where rates remain high. Families will receive a letter if they are required to shield again that parents will be able to share with the school.

If you have concerns about your child returning to school because you consider they may have other risk factors, you should discuss these with your school. They should be able to explain ways they are changing things to reduce risks.

The Early Intervention Service

Section 7 of Education Act 1996 places a duty on parents to ensure that their children of compulsory school age receive efficient full-time education, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.

School attendance overview

The Early Intervention Service works closely with schools and other partners to promote and support regular attendance at school and where necessary, instigate measures to ensure parents fulfil their responsibilities in relation to education.


What do I do if my child is not attending school

Regular attendance at school is both a legal requirement and essential to help your child achieve and get the best possible start in life.  If you are experiencing problems with your child’s attendance, it is important that you work closely with school to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.  

Alternatively, for further guidance and support you can contact the Early Intervention Service on 01204 338173 or 01204 334202

If your child continues to miss school a penalty notice (PDF 36KB) may be issued and in certain cases legal means can be used to enforce school attendance.

Code of Conduct Penalty Notices.


How do I report a child who is missing education (CME)

Children missing education (CME) are children of compulsory school age who are neither on a school roll nor receiving suitable education at home or in alternative provision.

If you are aware of a child who is not registered at a school, you can notify the Children missing Education Officer on 01204 334036 or 01204 332319. 

Alternatively, you can email the details to

Regular attendance at school is both a legal requirement and essential in order to help your child achieve and get the best possible start in life.