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School attendance

Did you know? 

  • Low attendance means a lower chance of getting into further education and employment
  • Good attendance means higher grades and better chances in life
  • Missing the odd day can become a habit
  • Every lesson in school matters and if you have time off you may find it difficult to catch up
  • Absences for medical appointments should be requested as far in advance as possible and your parents/carers should try to make routine appointments (for example dental check ups) during school holidays or after school hours
  • School is a great place to have fun and make new friends and it can give you improved confidence
  • There is a strong link between non-attendance and street crime and/or substance abuse
  • Attending school improves your health!  It encourages good social skills and the ability to create friendships and will also help you physically through regular exercise
  • Lateness equals lost learning
  • Five minutes every day adds up to over three days lost each year

Where can I get advice about school attendance? 

If you would like to talk to someone about attendance, or any other related issues, speak to the attendance officer at your school or Services for Young People on 0191 424 7400.

More information about national regulation and legislation around school attendance can be found on the GOV.UK: Schools website.

Report truancy

If you are concerned that a child may be truanting and you are aware which school roll they are on, please contact the school directly. The school will inform the Council if appropriate. 

Or, you can contact the Council's Attendance Monitoring Team on 0191 424 7400. Please supply as much information as possible to enable the team to investigate. 

If you are concerned about the safety or behaviour of young people, contact the Police on 101. The Council's Attendance Monitoring Team does not have the right or power to approach young people in the street.

Penalty notices

A system of penalty notices has been introduced. These are used as an alternative to prosecution in the Court.

They are used in a range of situations where unauthorised absence from school occurs. This may be overt truancy, including pupils found on the street during the school day without permission, or inappropriate parentally condoned absence such as holidays in term time, which have not been authorised by the school.

The penalty notice requires the parent to pay a fixed penalty of £120 within 28 days of issue, discounted to £60 if paid within 21 days of issue.

Those who do not pay the full amount within 28 days are prosecuted in the Magistrates Court.

For more information, see the Code of conduct for education related penalty notices.

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