The pupil registration regulations govern the admissions and attendance registers that all schools must keep. They also regulate the power of special schools and maintained schools to grant leave of absence.
By law, schools are required to record in the attendance register - once at the beginning of the morning session and once in the afternoon - whether the pupil is present, absent, engaged in an approved, supervised educational activity off-site, or unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances as defined in regulation 6(5) of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006, as amended by the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2010.
All maintained schools and non-maintained special schools must meet for the purpose to educate their pupils for at least 380 half-day sessions (190 days) in each school year, unless this is reduced by Parliament. All schools must determine the length of the school day. The law requires the school day in maintained schools and non maintained special schools to be divided into two sessions with a break in between.
Parents of compulsory school age (five to sixteen) children have a legal duty to ensure their children receive suitable education, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise than at a school (this includes home education). If a child is registered at school, parents have the legal responsibility for ensuring that their child attends regularly.
Local authorities (LAs) have a duty to satisfy themselves that children are in the school system or receiving education otherwise. If it comes to the attention of a local authority that a child is not receiving a suitable education either by regular attendance at school or otherwise than at a school, the LA has a duty under section 437 of the Education Act 1996 to serve a notice or a school attendance order to the parent. The notice requires the parent to satisfy the LA that the child is receiving a suitable education while the order requires the parent to register the child at a named school.
LAs also have powers under sections 444, 444A and 444ZA of the Education Act 1996 to bring legal action against parents in order to enforce attendance at school.
Advice on school attendance.
This document has been produced to help schools and local authorities maintain high levels of school attendance and plan the school day and year. The document also provides information about the interventions available to address pupils’ poor attendance and behaviour at school.
This document replaces previous advice on pupils’ registration, school day and year, guidance on ensuring children’s right to education and statutory guidance on education-related parenting contracts, parenting orders and penalty notices published in September 2007. It outlines in one place the Government’s approach to school attendance and the use of parental responsibility measures.
Departmental advice on pupil registers and attendance codes; school day and year.