Parents/carers are legally required to secure full-time education for children of compulsory school age. A child who is registered at school must attend regularly and punctually.
If a pupil is frequently arriving after the attendance register has closed, the parent/carer is committing an offence by failing to ensure that the child is receiving full-time education and the parent/carer may therefore be issued with a penalty notice or prosecuted under the Education Act 1996, Section 444.
Requests for approved leave of absence
2013 Amendments to the Pupil Registration (England) 2006 Regulations state that: “Headteachers may not grant any approved leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Headteachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted”.
Before any request for leave absence is approved, a headteacher must be satisfied that there are “exceptional circumstances” justifying the request for leave of absence. The Department for Education (DfE) has in their amendments specifically removed references to family holiday, extended leave and the statutory threshold of 10 school days.