School attendance

The Attendance and Prosecution Service's main function is to:

  • Encourage and, where necessary, enforce school attendance;
  • Safeguard and promote the welfare of children in order that they may reach their full potential.

Attending school on a regular basis is the key to your child doing well at school and will set them up with good habits for later life. It will also give your child the opportunity to:

  • Make friends and feel included.
  • Learn new things and develop skills.
  • Increase confidence and self-esteem.
  • Improve social skills.
  • Have better career prospects.
  • Achieve their potential and fulfil their aspirations.

Parents/carers can help by:

  • Showing their child that they think school is very important - ask about their day and what they have learned and what they have enjoyed - or not!
  • Praise their child's achievements however small.
  • Not keep their child off school unnecessarily and should talk to the school.
  • Organise their child so they arrive at school ready to learn.
  • Recognise that if children get into bad habits at an early age, it is hard to break them later in life, poor attendance at nursery can turn into a worse problem at the end of their school career.

Do you realise that if a child misses just one day a week, over the course of their school career they will miss two years of schooling and their chances of achieving their potential will be very much reduced.

If your child is having problems

  • Talking to their school is the best place to start. Don't be afraid to get to know your child's teachers and head teacher - communicating problems is the first step to solving them.
  • Most schools have school attendance policies - do you know what your child's policy is. It will often identify who is the right person to talk to.

The law

If you are a parent of (or are responsible for) a child aged between five and 16 who is registered at school, this information explains your responsibilities for making sure he or she attends school regularly.  

By law (Education Act 1996), all children of compulsory school age (between five and 16) must get a proper full-time education. You are responsible for making sure this happens, either by registering the child at a school or by making other arrangements which provide an effective education.

If your child is registered as a pupil at a particular school, that school must give permission for your child to be absent. If your child does not go to the school at which he or she is registered, the local authority can take legal action against you.

The role of the local authority
(Attendance and Prosecution Service)

  • Local Authorities (LAs) are responsible, by law, for making sure that registered pupils of compulsory school age attend their school regularly.
  • The Attendance and Prosecution Service works work closely with schools to monitor and enforce regular attendance.
  • If you do not co-operate with the school and Attendance and Prosecution Service may implement legal action under Education Act 1996 and/or Children Act 1989.

The service also:

  • Seeks to prevent the exploitation of young people in employment and entertainment. (Children and Young Persons Acts 1933 and 1963 and Local byelaws).
  • Works together with schools and other agencies to protect children/young people from abuse. (Children Act 1989) in partnership with Sandwell Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB) Procedures.
  • Holds information relating to children and young people who are electively home educated where known.

 

Support from the school

Your child's school is the first place to go to discuss any attendance problems.

Contact us

Please call us on:
0121 569 8147

We are based at: 

Attendance and Prosecution Service
Sandwell Council House
Freeth Street
Oldbury
West Midlands
B69 3DE