The County Attendance Team is a countywide service fulfilling the Local Authorities statutory responsibility to prosecute parents who fail to ensure their children receive a suitable education.
County Attendance Officers work with schools and families to provide advice and support on promoting good attendance, punctuality, reducing unauthorised absences and safeguarding vulnerable children and young people of statutory school age.
Parents are responsible for making sure that their children of compulsory school age receive a suitable full-time education. This can be by regular attendance at school, at alternative provision, or otherwise (e.g. the parent can choose to educate their child at home).
A child reaches compulsory school age on or after their fifth birthday. If they turn 5 between 1 January and 31 March they are of compulsory school age on 31 March; if they turn 5 between 1 April and 31 August they are of compulsory school age on 31 August. If they turn 5 between 1 September and 31 December, then they are of compulsory school age on 31st December.
A child continues to be of compulsory school age until the last Friday of June in the school year that they reach 16.
From September 2015 all 16 and 17 year old children will be required to continue in education or training, until the end of the academic year in which they turn 18. However children in this category are not statutory school age and therefore the Local Authority does not have the power to prosecute parents for non-attendance.