School attendance

Parents are legally required to secure full-time education for children of compulsory school age. The education must be suitable to the child’s age, aptitude and ability and to any special needs the child has. Parents can secure education for the child by registering the child at school.

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. We recognise punctual and regular school attendance is an essential of social inclusion. It is also a prerequisite to effective learning.

Where schools have secured a Service Level Agreement with the Education and Inclusion Service (formally known as the Education Welfare Service), they will support children and their families alongside the school to secure regular attendance.

Where schools have not secured a Service Level Agreement, the Education and Inclusion Service will offer advice to those schools. This advice will be regarding their statutory functions in regard to school attendance.

Compulsory school age

Children are of compulsory school age from the start of the term following their fifth birthday.

Children cease to be of compulsory school age on the last Friday in June of the academic year in which their sixteenth birthday falls.

Further information is provided in guidance documents: