Attendance in school

Education welfare

 The Education Welfare Service (EWS) promotes the importance of regular school attendance and investigates the causes of poor attendance. The EWS works closely with schools, parents, young people and other agencies to secure this.

The service also has responsibilities for delivery of statutory services which include: child employment and licensing, the monitoring and tracking of young people missing education (CME) and enforcement of attendance under the Education Act (1996) and Children Act (1989).

In addition the EWS provides training and advice on Child Protection matters.


Children missing from education (CME)

What do we mean by children missing from education?

Children who either fail to register for education when they move into Redbridge or who leave one of our schools with no new school place confirmed are considered by Redbridge to be missing from education (CME)  

These 'missing' children can be amongst the most vulnerable in our Borough. It is essential that all services work with the CME team to identify and re-engage these children back into appropriate education provision as quickly as possible.

Children who remain disengaged from education are potentially exposed to higher degrees of risk that could include engagement in antisocial or criminal behaviour, social disengagement and/or sexual exploitation.

If you have the full details of a child missing education, you can make an online CME referral

For general enquiries or to update a previous CME referral please email 

Am I responsible for my child’s school attendance?

Yes. It is in your interest to make sure that your child has a good school attendance record. If your child misses school regularly we can take legal action against you.


What the law says

As a parent, you are legally responsible for making sure your child gets a full-time education. This means registering the child at school and making sure they attend.

For more information, have a look at the Redbridge Code of Conduct (PDF 999KB)


Taking your child out of school for a holiday during term time

We strongly advise against disrupting your child’s schooling for a holiday during term time.

Government guidelines say leave of absence during term time should not be granted by the school except in the most exceptional of circumstances.


What could happen if your child misses school

  • we may consider removing your child from the school
  • leave of absence taken without permission of the headteacher means you could be issued with a penalty notice of £120 per parent per child (reducing to £60 if paid within 21 days) 
  • if you fail to pay your penalty notice you may be prosecuted at magistrates' court for your child's non-attendance 
  • if you are prosecuted and convicted you will have a criminal record
  • for more serious offences you can be fined up to £2,500 and in extreme cases there is a penalty of up to 3 months imprisonment
  • please see our RB Attendance Strategy (PDF 2.03MB) for further information


Persistent lateness

If your child is persistently late the school can ask us to implement a penalty notice to the parent or carer. A maximum of 7 late attendances during any 1 half term could mean you'll receive a penalty notice.


When is it OK for your child to stay away from school


Follow the school's illness procedures and contact the school as soon as possible on the first day that your child is ill. You will be expected to provide medical evidence for absence of 5 days or more.


Medical appointments

Try to arrange appointments during school holidays, at weekends or after school hours. Naturally, there will be times when this isn't possible but you must try to give as much advance warning as possible and take the appointment letter or card into school.


Religious festivals

Ask your school in advance for time off for religious reasons. A maximum of 3 days will be considered for religious observance in any 1 academic year.


Contact details

020 8708 6020