School attendance and absence

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – schools

Go to GOV.UK: what parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges. Check the website of your child's primary school, secondary school or special school for specific information and advice.

Our child-friendly video, welcome back to school and nursery, shows how children can learn and have fun together while still staying safe from coronavirus.

For guidance on continuing your children's education at home, go to GOV.UK: supporting your children's education during coronavirus (COVID-19). Go to GOV.UK: online resources for home education for websites to help children learn at home. BBC Bitesize also offers daily lessons.

Go to GOV.UK: GCSEs, AS and A level awarding for information on how qualifications will be graded and awarded in summer 2020.

Why your child must go to school

Parents and carers have a legal duty to make sure that their children receive full-time education. School attendance is vital in a child's educational and social development.

By truanting or by being absent from school without reasonable justification, your child:

  • misses out on valuable teaching
  • runs the risk of becoming a victim of crime or getting involved in crime
  • develops bad habits of poor reliability and time-keeping, which risks long-term unemployment

Employers found illegally employing school children are liable to prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000

Parents and carers can be prosecuted, fined or even sent to prison if they don't make their children attend school regularly and punctually, or if they condone their absence from school without reasonable justification.