Local councils and schools can use various legal powers if your child is missing school without a good reason. They can give you a:

Parenting Order

This means you have to go to parenting classes. You'll also have to do what the court says and improve your child's school attendance. This is ordered in the Magistrates Court.

Education Supervision Order

If the council thinks you need support getting your child to go to school but you're struggling, they can apply to a court for an Education Supervision Order.

A supervisor will be appointed to help you to ensure your child attends school regularly. The local council can do this instead of prosecuting you, or as well. This is heard in the Family Court.

School Attendance Order

The local authority has a duty to issue School Attendance Orders if it is not satisfied that a family is educating their child. This order would require the family to enrol their child at a school identified by the local authority.

You have 15 days to provide evidence that you've registered your child with the school listed in the order or that you're giving them home education. If you don't, you could be prosecuted or given a fine.

Fine (also known as a penalty notice

Your local council can give you a fine of £60, per parent, per child which rises to £120 if you don't pay within 21 days. If you don't pay the fine after 28 days you may be prosecuted for your child's absence from school.

Families who move into Kirklees who have not secured a school place will not be issued with a Penalty notice for school non-attendance if they are actively seeking a school place and ensuring education is taking place in the interim.

See Penalty notice for school non-attendance for more information and ways to pay a Penalty notice.


You could get a fine of up to £2,500, a community order or a custodial sentence up to 3 months. The court may give you a Parenting Order.

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