What is truancy?
Truancy is when your child skips attending school without the school's permission. A small amount of children decide to "skive off" or "play truant" from school and sometimes their parents are aware of it. Children who truant do it for a number of reasons including being afraid of bullies or because they think it's "cool." Truancy is an unauthorised absence and long periods of child truancy could lead to you being prosecuted by the law.
What is an authorised absence?
Your child's absence is only acceptable if:
- Leave has been authorised by the school.
- Your child cannot attend due to illness, injury or other unavoidable causes such as family bereavement.
- Your family are observing a time of religious importance.
- The local council has failed to provide transport for children living two miles away from school if they are aged 7 or under, or for children living three miles away if they are aged 8 and over.
If your child does need time off then inform the school staff as soon as possible, as they will become concerned if you do not contact them.
How can I encourage my child's regular school attendance?
Avoid taking holidays during school term time and instead book them during the school holidays.
Each day before your child goes to school check your child's homework is complete and that they have everything they need for the day's lessons, such as books and P.E. kit.
If your child has a minor illness they should be encouraged to go to school. If the condition worsens or if the teachers decide your child needs attention they will be looked after and, if necessary, you will be contacted.
Who can I contact for advice?
If you are worried about your child's attendance then you can contact your school's education welfare officer for more advice. They can be contacted through your child's school or through the following telephone numbers:
- Ipswich area: 01473 584787
- Lowestoft area: 01502 405261
- Bury St Edmunds area: 01284 352122