Missing school can have serious consequences for your teenager. If your teenager starts to miss school on a regular basis it can be very difficult for them to catch up and it is more likely they will skip more days in the future and do poorly in exams.
If you are worried about your teenager skipping school try to find out why they are missing school. Once you know why they are skipping school it is easier to do something about it. They may skip school for a number of reasons including being bullied, lack of confidence, or being worried about school work.
School attendance and the law
As a parent it is your legal responsibility to make sure your teenager receives an education up to the school leaving age.
If your teenager is not attending school regularly you will be asked to agree a plan with the school to get your teenager attendance back on track. If your teenager's attendance fails to improve then the school will take further action. This might include involving other education professionals such as an Education Welfare Officer who will work with your teenager to get them to attend regularly.
Education Welfare Officers can also help if your teenager has been missing school because of family circumstances for example caring for a parent because of illness. If your child's school attendance still doesn't improve you might be fined, receive a jail sentence, a community sentence, or offered a parenting order (an agreement between you and the school or local authority to improve attendance).
Learning after the age of 16
All young people are now expected to stay in some form of learning until the school year they are 17 (from 2015, the school year they are 18). This does not mean that they all must stay on in education in the traditional way. Learning includes full-time education, going into employment with training such as an apprenticeship, or a combination of part-time employment and part-time education.
School leaving age
The earliest 16-year-olds can leave school to enter full-time employment with training is the last Friday in June of the school year they turn 16.
Get involved and support your children with their career choices
Leicester City Council
Attendance and truancy
Leicester County Council
Attendance Improvement Service
School attendance, truancy and your child
Advisory Centre for Education (ACE)
Independent charity offering information and advice about state education
The Children's Legal Centre
Legal advice, information, and representation for children and young people
Page last updated 30/10/12