St Francis CofE Primary School


Attendance Overview

*For detailed information see St Francis School Attendance Policy under 'POLICIES' 

For any absences, please email:


When your child can miss school

In the UK, every day that a child misses school for any unauthorised reason constitutes a criminal offence.

You can only allow your child to miss school if either:

  • They are too ill to go in
  • You have advance permission from the school

There is extra support available if your child can’t go to school for long periods because of a health problem.


Holidays in term time

You must get permission from the head teacher (whose decision is final) if you want to take your child out of school during term time.

You can only do this if:

  • you make an application to the head teacher in advance (as a parent the child normally lives with)
  • there are exceptional circumstances

It is up to the head teacher how many days your child can be away from school if leave is granted.

You can be fined for taking your child on holiday during term time without the school’s permission.


  • Any absence taken without asking or informing the school in advance can lead to an automatic referral to the Local Authority

  • ‘Aggravated circumstances’ such as repeated absences for holidays, or taking your child out of school during key assessment periods, could lead straight to prosecution


 Legal action to enforce school attendance

Local councils and schools can use various legal powers if your child is missing school without a good reason. They can give you:

  • a Parenting Order
  • an Education Supervision Order
  • a School Attendance Order
  • a fine (sometimes known as a ‘penalty notice’)

You can be given one or more of these but the Council does not have to do this before prosecuting you.

Parenting Order

This means you have to attend parenting classes. You’ll also have to act on what the Court says to improve your child’s school attendance.

Education Supervision Order

If the Council thinks you need support getting your child to go to school but you’re not co-operating, they can apply to a court for an Education Supervision Order.

A supervisor will be appointed to help you get your child into education. The local council can do this instead of prosecuting you, or as well.

School Attendance Order

You will be given a School Attendance Order if the local council thinks your child isn’t getting an education.

You have 15 days to provide evidence that you’ve registered your child with the school listed in the order or that you’re giving them home education. If you do not comply with this deadline, you could be prosecuted or given a fine.


Your local Council can give you a fine of £60, which rises to £120 if you don’t pay within 21 days. If you don’t pay the fine after 28 days you may be prosecuted for your child’s absence from school.


You could get a fine of up to £2,500, a community order or a jail sentence up to 3 months. The court also gives you a Parenting Order.