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School Attendance and Absence

School Attendance and Absence

You must make sure your child gets a full-time education that meets their needs (for example if they have special educational needs).

Children must get an education between the school term after their 5th birthday and the last Friday in June in the school year they turn 16.


What to do if school is being missed

Students with SEND may require to be absent from school in comparison to children without any additional needs.

Communication with school is key. If your child is unable to attend school or there is a particular issue stopping them from attending school then you must speak to school, support will be available, but staff need to be told about any difficulties as soon as possible.

Your child may need to attend some medical or health appointments.  Where possible we would advise to request that these are out of school hours however, we are aware that this is often very difficult. It is good practice to show the school evidence of the appointment, this can be via letter or appointment card, school can take a copy of this and keep it on your child’s file. It also means school can authorise the absence. Attending a health or medical appointment must be marked as an absence as the pupil is not present in school – M for medical appointment, this is an authorised absence.

If your child is unwell, then school must be informed on the first day of absence.  If it is a prolonged absence then you should consider speaking to your child’s GP/lead healthcare professional where you can and ask for advice about attending school. Children who are absent as they are unwell are marked as I – illness, this is an authorised absence.

If your child’s attendance is below 90%, school may offer a parenting contract, do not panic, this is a supportive plan between school and yourselves to work together to improve attendance, where possible.

It is mandatory for all children of compulsory school age to attend school; legal action can only be taken where a pupil has several unauthorised absences. If a Headteacher chooses not to authorise an absence, they should always make you aware of this. Following the advice above will prevent any absences being unauthorised.


Access and Inclusion Service

The Access and Inclusion Service exists to try and help children and young people to go to school regularly. We help to establish and maintain important links between school and home. We offer advice and support to families to enable children to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. 

Contact or call 0191 277 4500 for referral.

Access and Attendance Officers can support parents in discussions with school staff and can advise on the support available from other services and make referrals to them where necessary.

School attendance is our main focus, but we can also advise about bullying, exclusion from school, special educational needs, child employment, children in entertainment and safeguarding or child protection issues.

We accept referrals from schools, parents, children, other family members, statutory and voluntary agencies.  Access and Attendance Officers make home visits and/or see parents and children at school or other community settings.

We are responsible for the statutory duties of the local authority in relation to the enforcement of parental responsibility for school attendance (pupils attending Newcastle schools).  Parents may be prosecuted or issued with penalty notices if their children do not attend school regularly.  Our staff and the police carry out truancy sweeps/patrols across the city.

We are responsible for issuing employment/work permits for children who work in Newcastle and performance licences for children who live in Newcastle. Performance licences may be needed for stage, film, TV, modelling or paid sporting activities. We carry out the local authority functions in relation to approving chaperones (matrons) for children in performance.

The Access and Inclusion Service provides advice/guidance/training to schools on issues related to attendance, exclusion and safeguarding.  Not all schools in Newcastle use the central service, some schools make their own arrangements. 


See attached guidance



Part-time schooling

All pupils of compulsory school age are entitled to a full-time education. In very exceptional circumstances there may be a need for a temporary part-time timetable to meet a pupil’s individual needs. For example, where a medical condition prevents a pupil from attending full-time education and a part-time timetable is considered as part of a re-integration package. A part-time timetable must not be treated as a long-term solution. Any pastoral support programme or other agreement must have a time limit by which point the pupil is expected to attend full-time or be provided with alternative provision.

In agreeing to a part-time timetable, a school has agreed to a pupil being absent from school for part of the week or day and therefore must record it as authorised absence (C code)

School Attendance - Guidance for maintained schools, academies, independent schools and local authorities (August 2020)

Use this form to notify us about a child on a partial timetable:

Partial Timetable Notification

Teaching at home

Home schooling or Elective Home Education