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The School Attendance Service believes that the interest and the welfare of the child are of primary importance. We work with parents who may be experiencing difficulty in ensuring that their children attend school regularly. The School Attendance Service also works individually with pupils of statutory school age within a statutory framework. The School Attendance Service seeks to promote equal opportunities in education for all children.

The Role and Aims of the School Attendance Service

The service is an integral part of the Children and Young People Department, and offers a positive and supportive role to all families with children at school.

The aim of the service is to identify and assist children with school related problems, and to help develop closer relationships between parents and the school which their child attends. Parents should seek help from the school or  School Attendance Service if they have a concern.

To enable children to receive the maximum benefit from their time at school, it is necessary for parents and school staff to be aware of any difficulties which their child may be experiencing. The development of a co-operative relationship between the School Attendance Service, the school and parents is therefore seen as very important.

The service also assists the Local Authority in meeting its statutory requirements with regard to children who do not attend school regularly.

How Can the School Attendance Service Help Parents and Pupils

Parents have a legal duty to ensure that their children receive a regular full time education. It is recognised that sometimes parents may find it difficult to do this, and may need help in dealing with issues which arise.

The School Attendance Officer offers help and advice to families who are experiencing difficulty. We are able to signpost to other agencies who will help parents in fulfilling their legal duty in ensuring their child receives full time education.

The School Attendance Officer is involved with a variety of issues. The main focus of the work is dealing with problems which could prevent a child attending school.

The service is made up of a team of professionals who have a wealth of experience of working with school, children and families.

Areas with which the service is involved

  • Liaison with schools regarding attendance
  • Work with children who are experiencing difficulty in attending school.
  • Work with children who are the subject of a statutory order.
  • Tracking children missing from education
  • Monitoring children who are in receipt of home education
  • Advice on child employment.
  • Advice regarding child entertainment licences
  • Chaperone applications
  • Issuing Penalty Notices when requested by schools in support of government and legislation
  • Prosecuting parents under Section 444(1) and 4441(A) Education Act 199

Issue of penalty notices regarding school attendance: