Disapplication notice: school attendance legislation changes

Secretary of State for Education issues seventh notice to disapply offences for non-attendance in schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Applies to England



On 28 April 2020, the Secretary of State for Education issued a notice disapplying section 444(1) and (1A) of the Education Act 1996. The specified period of that notice was 1 May to 31 May 2020. A second notice was issued on 28 May 2020 with a specified period from 1 June to 30 June 2020. A third notice was issued on 29 June with a specified period from 1 July to 31 July 2020. A fourth notice was issued on 27 July with a specified period from 1 August 2020 to 23 August 2020. A fifth notice was issued on 7 January 2021 with a specified period of 7 January 2021 to 6 February 2021.

The sixth notice was issued on 23 January with a specified period of 7 February to 19 February 2021 and was cancelled on 6 February 2021.

The Secretary of State for Education has now issued a seventh notice with the same effect as the previous notices.

This notice is relevant to:

  • local authorities
  • schools
  • parents

It temporarily disapplies offences relating to the failure of parents to secure regular attendance at school of a registered pupil. Parents can be sure that they will not be prosecuted or receive a criminal conviction for not sending their children to school during the specified period.

The new notice applies from 7 February 2021 to 6 March 2021.

Under the Coronavirus Act 2020, the Secretary of State for Education can issue notices to temporarily remove or relax statutory requirements where this is an appropriate and proportionate action relating to the incidence or transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). The specified period must not exceed one month.

Published 30 April 2020
Last updated 9 February 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added a seventh notice for February 2021.

  2. Added the disapplication notice and cancellation of disapplication notice February 2021.

  3. Added a fifth notice for January 2021.

  4. Added a fourth notice for August 2020.

  5. Added a third notice covering July 2020.

  6. Added a second notice covering June 2020.

  7. First published.