Your child has a right to an education………………………………


It can be tricky deciding whether to keep your child off school when they are unwell. Most illnesses are very mild, like a minor headache or a slight cold. If you decide to keep your child at home, it’s important to phone the school before 9am to let them know why they will be absent. Parents need to call school every day, it is not acceptable to say that your child will be absent all week.

Is it ever ok for my child to miss school?

There are some circumstances when school will allow a pupil to be absent. If you want to take your child out of school for any reason other than illness, contact the school beforehand.

Birthdays, shopping trips and days out are not reasons to be absent.

What should I do if my child is anxious or worried about going to school?

Sometimes, children and young people are anxious or worried about going to school. This could be because of reasons inside and outside school. You may feel, under these circumstances, it is best to allow your child to miss school. This will not help find a solution. If your child is worried about going to school, you must contact it to discuss the concern so it can be resolved.

Routine medical and dental appointments

Wherever possible, make medical and dental appointments after school or in school holidays.

What about taking my child out of school to go on holiday?

There are 13 weeks of school holidays per year. Taking holidays during term time still affects a child’s attendance.

Term time holiday + absence due to illness (or other reason) = Significant impact on your child’s attendance

You must get permission from the head teacher 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’s up to the head teacher how many days your child can be away from school if leave is granted.

To avoid taking your child out of school, these dates are a guide to help plan your holiday. Please check your school’s website to confirm before making a booking.

North East Lincolnshire 2020-21 Lincolnshire 2020-21
Open Close Open Close
Thurs 3 September 2020 Fri 23 October 2020 Thurs 3 September 2020 Thurs 22 October 2020
Mon 2 November 2020 Fri 18 December 2020 Mon 2 November 2020 Thurs 17 December 2020
Wed 6 January 2021 Fri 12 February 2021 Mon 4 January 2021 Fri 12 February 2021
Mon 22 February 2021 Thurs 1 April 2021 Mon 22 February 2021 Wed 31 March 2021
Tues 20 April 2021 Fri 28 May 2021 Mon 19 April 2021 Fri 28 May 2021
Mon 7 June 2021 Fri 23 July2021 Mon 7 June 2021 Wed 21 July 2021


What will happen if my child does not attend school?

The Education Act 1996, section 444(1) states “if a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at that school, his/her parents are guilty of an offence”.

If your child is registered at a school, it’s your responsibility to ensure they attend.

For isolated incidents, the school will most likely call you in for a meeting. However, if your child plays truant persistently then legal action may be taken against you.

Your local council can use any of the following measures:

  • A Parenting Order
  • An Education Supervision Order
  • A School Attendance Order
  • A Penalty Notice (fine)
  • Prosecution

How much can I be fined if my child misses school?

If your child regularly misses school you may be issued with a Penalty Notice. The fine is £60, for each parent/carer, if paid within 21 days, rising to £120 if not paid within 21 days but paid within 28 days. An unpaid Penalty Notice would lead to prosecution under the Education Act 1996, section 444, for the offence of failing to ensure your child’s regular attendance and may incur a fine of up to £1,000. If a penalty notice remains unpaid this may lead to prosecution through the Magistrates’ Court

Will I be prosecuted if my child misses school?

Prosecution is a last resort. If you are prosecuted and found guilty you could be fined up to £2,500, imprisoned for up to three months or given a Community Sentence.