Children missing education

We want to know about any child or young person living in Peterborough who may be missing education. Children missing education should not be confused with:

  • children who are on roll at a school but are not attending regularly 
  • children who are being educated at home 
  • children whose parents have applied for a school place where the application is going through admissions procedures.

If you are concerned a child or young person is not attending school, you may contact our Children Missing Education Officer by calling 01733 863681 or email


Unless a child is genuinely ill, there should never be any discussion about whether or not a child will be going to school on that day. Parents should give their children a positive attitude towards education and school from the earliest opportunity.

Unacceptable absences

  • birthdays
  • family Visits
  • shopping
  • looking after other family members.

Only the school can authorise absences. If you know your child is going to be absent, you must notify the school in advance with full details.


If a school identifies a child as having low attendance, letters expressing their concern will be sent by the school and to ask parents to get in touch. The attendance service is also notified.

Within the letter, the school may request a meeting to advise parents of legal responsibilities and examine any issues that may be causing poor attendance and draw up an action plan to improve the situation. If parents do not attend this meeting, the attendance officer will offer a home visit to discuss the concerns.

If there is no improvement in the child's attendance, a legal meeting will be held. Following this, if there is still no improvement, legal proceedings may follow.

Holidays in term time 

Full school attendance is vital for your child’s educational progress and we expect all parents and carers to ensure their children attend school whenever possible. All Peterborough schools discourage any term time absence.

Request a leave of absence

If you want to take your child out of school, you must complete the school's leave of absence request form. The school will then consider the request. 

Absence without permission

If you choose to take your child out of school for a holiday or any other leave of absence without permission from school, it will be recorded as a period of unauthorised absence. This means that you may be issued a penalty notice (a fine) to pay.

Penalty Notice Code of Conduct - Attendance Policy

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