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 (School and Placing Information) (Scotland) Amendments, etc. Regulations 1993 requires each child's absence from school to be recorded in the school register as authorised that is approved by the authority, or unauthorised, that is unexplained by the parent (truancy) or temporarily excluded from school.
Parents are requested to inform the school by letter or telephone before 9.15 am if their child is likely to be absent and to give the child a note on his or her return to school, confirming the reason for absence.
Every effort should be made to avoid family holidays during term time as this both disrupts the child's education and reduces learning time. It should be noted that it not only has an adverse effect on a child while he/she is absent from school but also leads to extended disruption to a child's education for a period of time when he/she returns to school after the family holiday. Family holidays will only be regarded as authorised absence where prior agreement from the school has been obtained and where it is judged the holiday is important to the wellbeing and cohesion of the family, following serious or terminal illness, bereavement or other traumatic events.
Parents may request that their children be permitted to be absent from school to make an extended visit to relatives. This leave will be regarded the same as a family holiday but will be recorded separately from the school holidays for attendance purposes. Requests should be made in writing detailing the destination and the duration.
Clearly with no explanation from the parent, the absence is unauthorised.
It should be emphasised that the school attendance officer investigates unexplained absences and that the authority has the power to write to, interview or prosecute parents, or to refer pupils to the Reporter of the Children's Hearings, if necessary.
Absence rates are calculated as a percentage of the total number of possible attendances for all pupils of the school in the stage shown, each morning and afternoon of each school day being a separate possible attendance.
Where figures or percentages based on a number of pupils under any particular heading is between 1 and 4 no information is given and *** is inserted in place of the figures.
Adults attending day school classes are excluded.
The authority's and Scotland's figures include