From 3 September 2012, the criminal offence for parents who fail to secure their children’s regular attendance at school will be extended to include failure to attend at alternative provision. Parents will be legally responsible for ensuring that their children of compulsory school age attend the alternative provision arranged for them.
This could be in circumstances where the child has been excluded for a fixed period from school or where the child has been asked to attend for educational purposes. Parents must be notified of the arrangements by the appropriate authority1 and informed of the consequence of non-attendance.
This legislation puts attendance at any alternative provision on the same footing as attendance at a school or pupil referral unit (PRU), and supports the Government’s focus on improving attendance for all pupils.
The provision applies to all state funded schools.
Section 155 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 amends section 444ZA of the Education Act 1996 (application of section 444 to alternative provision). Further information on the commencement order is also available on this page.
1 The 'appropriate authority' is the governing body in relation to a maintained school, the local authority in relation to a pupil referral unit and the proprietor in relation to an academy.