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County Attendance Team (formerly Education Welfare Service)

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County Attendance Team (formerly Education Welfare Service)

Who are we?

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.

What are our aims?

  • To ensure that young people access the education they are entitled to dependent on their needs.
  • To support schools, families and colleagues to improve school attendance.

How can we help?

  • Issue Penalty Notices for both irregular school attendance and term time holidays.  (See flow charts and referrals forms) there is no charge attached.
  • Interview parents under PACE guidelines which could lead to the prosecution of parents. There is no charge attached but schools and settings are expected to have undertaken a full investigation into the circumstances and offered help internally and/or referred to  Early Help Offer/Panel for preventative support (see flow charts and referrals forms).
  • Via Traded Services schools and settings can purchase County Attendance Team involvement as required and to cover a greater variety of work.
  • Under Referral Information you will find referral forms, flow charts and template letters which we hope will support your work to improve attendance.  Please contact us if you require clarification.
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