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School attendance matters

Information for parents and carers

Here are some facts you need to know if you live in Newham and have children of compulsory school age. Newham Council wants to support you to ensure that your children gain the maximum benefit from their education. A good education leads to better life chances, better employment opportunities and higher earning power. It helps children learnto socialise, to be confident and to be good citizens who make a positive contribution to society.

The points below outline the regulations around school attendance.

  • Full-time education is compulsory for all children between the ages of 5 – 18 years
  • Newham Council’s policy is for all children to start school in September of the year in which they turn five years old.
  • If you apply for a school place but do not accept it, you will be asked what arrangements you are making to ensure your child receives full-time education, suitable to his/her age, ability and any special educational needs he/she may have.
  • If you home educate your child, the Newham Council will check that the education you are providing is suitable.
  • If you enrol your child at an independent or faith school, please notify the Attendance
  • Service (contact details below), otherwise your child may be notified as a ‘Child Missing from Education’ (CME). This would involve checks being conducted to ensure your child is receiving an education.
  • Once you have accepted a school place, it is your responsibility to make sure your child attends every day, on time, with no unnecessary days off. Parents can be prosecuted if they do not fulfil this responsibility.
  • Term time leave is not authorised.
  • Penalty Notice fines can be issued for taking your child out of school in term time, or for reasons related to non-attendance or poor punctuality.
  • A Penalty Notice incurs a fine of £60 to each parent for each child, if paid within 21 days. If not paid within 21 days but paid within 28 days it rises to £120. If not paid at all, prosecution is automatic.

If you are new to the country we welcome you. If you want to learn or improve your English, enquire at your child’s school and you will be given information about local classes.

For further information please contact the Attendance Management Service on Telephone: 020 3373 0390 or Email: attendance.management@newham.gov.uk