Commonly Asked Questions

Good school attendance gives your child the opportunity of success and helps them develop skills for life. Your child should attend school everyday unless there is an avoidable cause such as illness. Missing school damages a student’s learning and their grades (research shows that missing 17 days of school often leads to a drop in GCSE grades), disrupts routines and can make a student vulnerable to crime.

Students should never miss school for reasons like shopping, birthdays or to  wait in for a repair person.

Contact Mr Rice, Miss Thompson or Mrs Green on 0151 424 5038

Telephone the school as early as possible on the first morning of their absence to give the reason.

Make routine dentist and doctor appointments after school or during school holidays. If you have to make an appointment during school time, help your child to be at school for most of the day and let the school know about the appointment.

You may be asked for a medical certificate or appointment card if your child is regularly absent due to illness or dental/medical appointments.

Holidays during term time will not be authorised. We cannot legally authorise holidays during term time. Taking holidays in term time will affect your child’s educational future as much as any other absence. It is our legal obligation to issue fixed penalty notices to any parent or carer taking their child out of school for a holiday. Remember that any savings you think you may make by taking a holiday in school time are offset by the cost to your child’s education.

Parent/cares commit an offence if a child does not attend school regularly and the absence is not agreed by the school i.e. the absence is unauthorised. In some cases unauthorised absence may result in prosecution under Section 444 of the 1996 Education Act.

The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 introduced Penalty Notices as an alternative to prosecution. A Penalty Notice does not require a court appearance but still aims to improve attendance.

When the school agrees for your child to miss school in advance or accepts your explanation, absence is ‘authorised’. All other absence is ‘unauthorised’. Penalty Notices may be used where absence is unauthorised, for example when:

  • A parent has taken their child on holiday during term time without authorisation.
  • Students are regularly late for school after the register has closed.
  • A student has 10 or more unauthorised sessions within a 6 week period.

You have up to 28 days from receipt to pay the Penalty Notice in full. If full payment is not received within this time, the local authority is required under the Education  Act to commence proceedings in the Magistrates Court for the original offence of unauthorised absence by your child. If proven, this can result in fines of up to £1,000 and/or a range of disposals such as Parenting Orders or Community Sentences.

If found guilty the parent will have a criminal record.

Not for the period included in the Penalty Notice payment discharges your liability in this respect. However, it may be the case that a prosecution might be considered for further periods of unauthorised absence not covered by the Penalty Notice, depending upon the circumstances. If this is an issue, it is vital that you work closely with your child’s school and support agencies such as the Educational Welfare Service.

If your child is truanting you can:-

  • Talk to them – try to find out why.
  • Meet with a member of school staff to discuss the situation and look for solutions.
  • Contact the Education Welfare Service for advice and guidance: Kay Ratcliffe 0151 511 7360.
  • Try to understand what is happening for your child and help them resolve the problem.

Education is key to their future success so it’s important to solve issues as quickly as possible.

Find out when it’s best to keep your sick child at home and when it’s OK to send them to school or nursery.

Is my child too ill for school? – NHS (