School attendance and absence

Types of absence

There are different types of absence from school.

Authorised absence from school

If your child must be absent from school for a valid reason, you have to let the school know as soon as possible. You must give the reason for absence and the length of time your child will be absent.

You must get the school's agreement before taking your child away for a holiday in term time.

Failure to do so may result in a penalty notice being issued against you.

For guidance on illness, go to NHS: Is my child too ill for school?

Unauthorised absence from school

Schools must record whether an absence is authorised or unauthorised in attendance registers. They will include your child's attendance record in an annual school report.

If you do not let the school know the reason for your child's absence, it will be recorded as unauthorised and the school will investigate the absence.


Children must arrive at school on time. Serious lateness will be recorded as unauthorised absence and may be referred to us.


Children sometimes when don't attend school it is without their parents' knowledge. For a few children, this can becomeĀ a habit. With prompt action, understanding and care, however, it can be prevented or cured.

Contact us if you are concerned about truancy.

School Attendance Support Team
Thurrock Council, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, RM17 6SL

: 01375 652 568