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 i.e. approved by the authority, or unauthorised i.e. unexplained by the parent (truancy) or temporarily excluded from school.

Un-notified Absence Policy

It is East Dunbartonshire Council’s policy that parents should notify their child’s school if their child is going to be absent. In some instances it might not be possible for parents to pre-notify the school of an absence because their child may have become unwell during the night. In these circumstances, parents should notify the school before registration begins.

If parents do not inform the school of their child’s absence, the school will take action to find your child. This will involve contacting you and, where necessary, your emergency contact person(s). If these actions are not successful, the school will ask the school’s Attendance Officer to visit your home. In some exceptional circumstances, where the school believes your child could be at risk of harm, contact will be made with the Police and/or Social Work. Parents should also give their child a note on his/her return to school confirming the reason for absence.

Family Holidays

Every effort should be made to avoid family holidays during term time as this seriously disrupts a child’s education and greatly 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.