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School attendance

Bridgend County Borough Council is committed to maximising the potential of all pupils who attend schools in the county borough.

Attending school gives children the best chance of success. 

Parents/carers can support the regular and punctual attendance of their children by:

  • ensuring that their child arrives at school on time
  • ensuring that their child only misses school for reasons which are unavoidable or justified, such as illness or days of religious observance
  • notifying the school as soon as possible of any absence and confirm this in writing when the child returns to school
  • not booking family holidays during term-time
  • talking to the school if they are concerned that their child may be reluctant to attend

Did you know?

A pupil who is late by just 15 minutes every day for a year will have missed two full weeks of school.

Attending school on time, every day, is not only important for a child’s learning, but also for their wellbeing, achievement, and overall development.

We’ve been working with children in primary and secondary schools across the county borough to highlight the importance of regular school attendance and the benefits of school beyond learning.

In our new, short film, the children discuss the reasons why regularly attending school is vital for their happiness and wellbeing, further education, and job opportunities.

Your school is there to help

If you're concerned about your child’s attendance, it is important to seek help and advice from school staff as soon as possible. Staff at your child's school are there to help and provide necessary support and guidance to you and your child.

Further information and support can also be found on our website:

Grants for pupils

Transport to school and college

Free school meals FSM

Cost of living support

Taking children out of lessons harms their education and stops them from achieving their full potential. As well as being unable to catch up with missed lessons or seeing their grades suffer, missing school can put pressure on friendships and gives children the impression that it is okay to skip lessons - it is not.

We understand that there will be times when a child cannot go to school, for example:

  • if they are ill
  • to attend medical appointments
  • for religious observation

These are considered as authorised absences. Don't forget, the parent or guardian of any child who is away from school must contact the school and inform them of the reasons for absence.

Did you know?

Missing out on just 17 days of school can cause a drop in grade across all subjects at GCSE Level?

Advice and support

If you feel that there is a problem with your child’s attendance, please speak to school staff as soon as possible who will be able to give you the right support and guidance.

Bridgend Early Help Services

Children, young people and their families sometimes need a little extra help and support to have happy, healthy and successful lives.

The Early Help Team is a voluntary service that aims to help provide the right support for you and your family to aid positive change. We put the family at the centre of the support from start to finish of any involvement with the service. 

The law: what you need to know

Children of school-age who are registered at a school must, by law, attend school regularly. Regular attendance is important, not only because it is the law, but because it is the best way of ensuring children make the most of the educational opportunities available to them.

Parents and carers can be fined up to £2,500 or imprisoned for failing to ensure a child in their care attends school regularly.

By law, parents and guardians of children from age 5 to 16 who are registered at a school, are required to make sure that they attend regularly and on time. The official date for children leaving school is the last Friday in June in the school year. An overall attendance rate of at least 95 per cent is required – anything less and the Education Welfare Service will investigate why a child is missing class.

Parents and guardians do not have the right to remove children from school for e.g. a family holiday, a shopping trip or even a dental appointment – there are 175 non-school days in a year for these sort of activities, and just 190 where children are required to be in class.

Requests to take children out of school during term time can be made to headteachers, but may only be approved in very exceptional circumstances - anything less than full school attendance is going to affect a child’s progress.

  • When can a child be off school? - The law states that pupils should only be off school if they are ill or taking part in a recognised religious observance. The parent or guardian of any child who is away from school must contact the school and inform them of the reasons for absence as unauthorised absences could result in further action being taken.

  • Late for school? - Pupils must be in school by the close of the register. Children who are late must sign in at reception to ensure are late arrivals are recorded and for health and safety reasons. Regular lateness may result in detention or further action.

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