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School Attendance

As we move towards the new academic year, we are urging students, parents and carers, and families to think about the importance of school attendance. If a child is absent from school for an average of one day per week, they will miss two years of education between Reception and Year 11. Attendance is also linked with attainment. Students who leave Year 11 with 5 or more GCSEs grades 9-4 usually have excellent attendance records.

Only schools can authorise absence. Unauthorised absence from school is called truancy and parents of pupils whose absence is not authorised can be guilty of a criminal offence and may be liable to either a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecution in the Magistrate’s Court.

For information on school attendance and Truancy Penalty Notices click the link below:

Pay a truancy penalty notice

We understand that school attendance is not always as easy for some students as others due to family circumstances, mental and physical health. If your child is unable to attend for health reasons - speak to their school about what support they can offer. You may also find one or more of the following support services helpful:

 Mental health and wellbeing

Young Minds - School Anxiety and Refusal: Parent Guide to Support

Barnardo’s – Back to school: Strategies for coping with feelings


Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) support

Stoke-on-Trent SEND Local Offer

Stoke Parent Carers >


Support for families

Stoke-on-Trent Family Hubs

Children's Commissioner resources for families


School nursing services

Stoke-on-Trent Integrated 0-19 Health Visiting and School Nursing Service


Support for care experienced students

Stoke-on-Trent Virtual School


Support for moving from primary to secondary school

Children's Commissioner activity pack


How to improve your child's attendance

Children's Commissioner - working together to improve school attendance


Is my child too ill for school - NHS advice

Is my child too ill for school?