Getting your child to go to school

Every lesson in school matters and frequent absence from school results in gaps in children’s learning. Issues of reliability may also affect their future employment.

Research has shown that children who are not in school are most vulnerable and are easily drawn into crime or anti-social behaviour. Children who play truant are more likely to offend than those who do not.

Here is some guidance to help with getting your child to go to school.

Encouraging school attendance

  • Ensure that your child has everything they need for the day and have a nutritious breakfast. 
  • If your child is too ill to attend school, contact the school on the first day of absence and keep them informed.
  • If your child is well enough to attend school, make sure they understand you do not approve of unnecessary absences.
  • Keep a record of absences and compare with the school record if you become concerned.  Schools will provide attendance records on request.
  • Make time to talk to your child about school each day and find out what homework needs to be done.
  • Make sure your child follows the school’s rules and that you are clear about the school’s expectations, policies and procedures.
  • Problems in school may occur with bullying or with the work. Reassure your child that you and the school will work together to provide help and support.
  • Speak regularly to your child’s tutor and attend parents’ evenings.
  • Let the school know where you can always be contacted and provide emergency telephone numbers.


If you are concerned your child may be missing school, you could take them each day and ensure they arrive. Or, you could contact the school daily to check they have received their registration mark.

Arriving at school on time

Arriving at school on time is important as your child may miss out on important instructions on how to complete a piece of work.

It is important to know what time the registers close at your child's school. This will be outlined in the school's attendance policy. If your child arrives after this time it is recorded as an unauthorised absence.