Pupils: Absenteeism

(asked on 18th December 2023) - View Source

Question to the Department for Education:

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that children are not absent from school to take part in protests.

Answered by
Baroness Barran Portrait
Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
This question was answered on 27th December 2023

The government is clear that missing school for events such as political protests is unacceptable and should not be condoned.

The department monitors events closely and has recently written to all schools and local authorities supporting leaders and teachers in taking firm action when necessary. The department encourages schools and local authorities to set clear expectations to parents on attendance and has confirmed that absence for this kind of activity should be treated as unauthorised. The department is clear that school leaders and local authorities should be enforcing attendance policies, and they should take immediate action where these policies have been breached. In the most egregious cases this can mean fines or prosecution. The department has shared this communication with Ofsted to ensure all inspectors are clear on the position.

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