Every school day matters!

The academic and social benefits of good school attendance gives children the best start in life and beyond.

Being on time matters too, as being late for school can be disruptive to children and their friends in class. 

We want children to be in school every day, on time and ready to learn!

It is the law that parents or carers must make sure their child of compulsory school age receives a full-time education, either by attending school or through alternative education arrangements.

If your child attends school, as a parent or carer you are responsible for making sure they go on time every day. It is essential for all children to attend their school, college, or nursery as often as possible.

If your child has any worries about going to school, it's best to talk to their school about it as soon as you can so they can help.

Support is also available from the Attendance and Inclusion Team.

If your child does not attend school regularly

Your school will try to help you get your child back to school. They should contact you in the first instance to raise concerns about your child’s attendance. They may arrange meetings with you to explore how they can support your child to re-engage in their learning and be able to attend. If they see no improvement, they will ask us for help. Your will be able to find out more about your school's absence policy on their website.

After this, if you do not meet your responsibility to make sure that your child goes to school then legal action may be taken. This could mean:

  • a fine of £120 per parent or carer for holidays in term time or poor attendance and/or punctuality
  • prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court which could result in you receiving a Community Order, a fine of up to £2,500 per parent or carer, or a custodial sentence
  • your child being issued an Education Supervision Order which would mean them attending court and measures being put in place regarding attendance at school

If you are worried about your child’s attendance the first thing to do is to contact the school to discuss your concerns. If you need more help you can contact us sheffieldinclusion&attendance@sheffield.gov.uk.

Managing illness

Not all illnesses mean children need to miss school. Speak to the school or check the Healthier Together website to see if your child is still able to attend.

Holidays during term time

The law states that parents or carers do not have a right to take their child out of school for a holiday during term time. Term time holidays in Sheffield will not be authorised unless there are exceptional reasons. If you take your child out of school without the school's permission, you may be issued with a penalty fine.


Penalty Notice Fines for School Attendance are Changing!

With the introduction of the new National Framework for Penalty Notices, the below changes will come into force for Penalty Notice Fines issued after 19th August 2024.

Education Penalty Notices are issued to the parents of statutory school age children.

Per Parent, Per Child

Penalty Notice Fines will now be issued to each parent, for each child that was absent.

For example: 3 siblings absent for term time leave, would result in each parent receiving 3 separate fines.

5 consecutive days of term time leave

Penalty Notice Fines will be issued for Term Time Leave of 5 or more consecutive days. Inset training days are school days and can be included in the 5 or more consecutive days where there was intent to be absent for term time leave.

10 sessions of unauthorised absence in a 10-week period

Penalty Notice Fines will be considered when there has been 10 sessions of unauthorised absence in a 10 week period.

First Offence

The first time a Penalty Notice is issued for Term Time Leave or Irregular Attendance the amount will be:
£160 per parent, per child paid within 28 days.
Reduced to £80 per parent, per child if paid within 21 days.

Second Offence (within 3 years)

The second time a Penalty Notice is issued for Term Time Leave or Irregular Attendance the amount will be:
£160 per parent, per child paid within 28 days.

Third Offence and Any Further Offences (within 3 years)

The third time an offence is committed for Term Time Leave or Irregular Attendance a Penalty Notice will not be issued, and the case will be presented straight to the Magistrates’ Court. Magistrates’ fines can be up to £2500 per parent, per child.

Cases found guilty in Magistrates’ Court can show on the parent’s future DBS certificate, due to ‘failure to safeguard a child’s education’.

If you have any questions, please email Sheffieldinclusion&attendance@sheffield.gov.uk

Top tips for good school attendance

  • create good attendance habits from when your child first goes to nursery
  • talk to your child about the importance of school for their future
  • take a positive interest in your child's work, including helping them with homework
  • help your child to get into a good night-time, sleep time and morning routine
  • have a good relationship with school, talk to them about concerns you have and your child’s progress
  • contact school on the first day of absence if your child is not able to attend
  • be honest with school if your child is absent or not wanting to attend
  • book all holidays in the school holidays and not in term time
  • book medical appointments after school or during the school holidays. If you can’t, then make sure your child attends before and after their appointment
  • prioritise school attendance over other activities and ask for help if you need it

For help and advice you can contact your child’s school or get in touch sheffieldinclusion&attendance@sheffield.gov.uk.

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