Schools and learning

School attendance, behaviour and welfare


As a parent you are legally responsible for making sure that your child attends school. If your child fails to attend school without acceptable reason you risk getting a penalty notice or being prosecuted.

Arranging appointments and outings after school hours, at weekends or during school holidays will help to prevent disruption to your child's education and to the school.  You should not expect the school to agree to your child going on holiday during term time and if you do take them out of school this too may result in a penalty notice.

Struggling to get your child to school?

If you are having difficulty in getting your child to school or think there may be a reason why your child does not want to go to school, you should always speak to your child's class teacher for help and support.

We can also provide support by working directly with parents and schools. For example, where children have a long term illness, where families are in difficulty or where a child is being bullied.

Get in touch with us for further information about school attendance.

Pupil leave in term time

The law gives no entitlement to parents to take their child on holiday during term time.

Any application for leave must only be in exceptional circumstances and the Head Teacher must be satisfied that the circumstances are exceptional and warrant the granting of leave. Head Teachers would not be expected to class any term time holiday as exceptional.

Parents can receive a fine from the council for taking their child on holiday during term time without consent from the school. The fines cost £60 per child per parent if paid within 21 days and £120 if paid between 22 and 28 days. 

  • Penalty notice code of conduct

    Download this document: Penalty notice code of conduct (PDF: 197 KB)

    This document outlines when a penalty notice may be issued for unauthorised absence from a school or alternative provision.

    First published: 1/04/2017

    Last updated: 19/07/2022

Discipline and exclusions

All schools have a behaviour policy and code of conduct for pupils, which set the expectations of how pupils should behave in the classroom, at lunch breaks and outside of school, for example, at bus stops.  You should be able to download the policy from the school's website or request a copy from your child's teacher.

Where behaviour policies are breached your child may face detention, fixed period exclusion or, as a last resort, permanent exclusion.  Your child's school will be able to provide guidance on exclusion from schools. 


We work with schools, agencies and parents to support pupils who are at risk of exclusion and disengagement. This may be where a pupil has social, emotional or behavioural difficulties, is a looked after child or where the child has been excluded from school.

We also offer advice to families where they have chosen to education their child outside the school environment.