School attendance and absence

Help with getting your child to go to school

If you’re having trouble getting your child to go to school, the school and local council can help.

The school will discuss attendance problems with you and should agree a plan with you to improve your child’s attendance.

A lot of local councils have teams that help parents improve their child’s attendance at school. The council will tell you if they’re able to help. Forms of help could include:

  • support to reduce the burden on children where families are in difficulty (for example if a child is spending a lot of time caring for someone)
  • working with families and schools to overcome bullying and other serious problems
  • a parenting contract

Parenting contract

This is a voluntary written agreement between you and either the local council or the school’s governing body. Between you, you agree to find ways to improve your child’s attendance.

If you refuse to make a contract or you don’t stick to it, it can be used as evidence if the local council decides to prosecute you.