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What are my parental responsibilities with respect to attendance at school?


Section 30 of the 1980 Education Act lays a duty on every parent of a child of ‘school age’ to ensure that their child attends school regularly. Attendance must be recorded twice a day, morning and afternoon.


Regulation 7 of The Education (Scotland and Placing Information) (Scotland) Amendment etc Regulations 1993requires each child/young person’s absence from school to be recorded in the school register as authorised: e.g. approved by the authority, or unauthorised; e.g. unexplained by the parent (truancy) or excluded from school.


What should I do if my child is going to be absent from school?


The school will follow up all instances of pupil non-attendance in order to accurately record the reason for absence using the coding system noted below.  Parents should contact school at the beginning and end of the absence period.  Initial contact should be made to advise of an absence by telephoning the school office before the start of the school day on the first day of absence.  In this case parents should indicate their awareness of the absence, the reason for absence and the expected date of return to school.  When your child returns to school, please provide a letter noting the dates of absences and the reason for the absence.  This helps us to ensure that the parent was aware of the absence and that no truancy has taken place.  Where no information is provided, absences will be considered to be unexplained and therefore recorded as unauthorised.


What are the responsibilities of pupils?


  • To ensure that they arrive at school/classes on time.

  • To report to school office to provide a letter from their parent on return after a period of absence.  (see above for more details)

  • To advise school of any appointments where they will be out of school.

  • To sign in if arriving late.


What happens if my family are planning a holiday during term time?


The majority of family holidays taken during term time will be categorised as unauthorised absence.  However, it is acceptable under exceptional circumstances for schools to authorise a family holiday during term time.  Such circumstances may include:


  • A family holiday judged to be important to the well-being and cohesion of the family following serious or terminal illness, bereavement or other traumatic events

  • Where a parent’s employment is of a nature where school holiday leave cannot be accommodated (e.g. armed services or emergency services)


A family holiday classified under the ‘authorised absence’ category should not include such reasons as:


  • The availability of cheap holidays

  • The availability of desired accommodation

  • Poor weather experienced during school holidays

  • Holidays which overlap the beginning or end of term

  • Parental difficulty obtaining leave (with local judgement applied in cases where evidence is provided by the employer that it cannot accommodate leave during school holidays without serious consequences).


How will my child’s absence be coded?


Section 30 of the 1980 Education Act lays a duty on every parent of a child of ‘school age’ to ensure that their child attends school regularly.  Attendance must be recorded twice a day, morning and afternoon.

Codes Associated with Absence:


-  Present

~  In school but not in class

A - Other authorised absence

B - Sickness with educational provision

C - Closed (e.g. election)

D - Self Certified

E - Authorised Parental Holiday

F - Medically Certified

G  Parental Holiday

H - Holiday

I - In-Service

J - Late (arrives before mid-opening)

K - Late (arrives after mid-opening)

M - Missing

N - Other unauthorised absence

O - Other attendance out of school

P - Medical or Dental appointment

Q - Exceptional domestic circumstances (authorised)

R - Exceptional domestic circumstances

S - Study Leave

T - To be confirmed

U - Truancy or unexplained absence

V - School Visit

V - Field Trip

W - Work Experience

X - Exclusion

Z - Extended leave with parental consent

#  No admission date


Is it possible to have extended leave from school with parental consent?


Where most family holidays will be recorded as unauthorised absence (see above), extended leave with parental consent will not be considered the same as a family holiday.  Extended leave with parental consent will be recorded separately outside the figures for attendance and absence, and include circumstances such as:


  • Extended overseas educational trips not organised by the school

  • Short-term parental placement abroad

  • Family returning to its country of origin (to care for a relative, or for cultural reasons)

  • Leave in relation to the children of travelling families.




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