3-11 years: Getting your child to school

One of the most important things can do for your child's future is make sure they go to school.  Missing school means missing out on learning and social life.  the more they miss, the harder it is to go back.  Children avoid school for many reasons.  Help them deal with problems now and you will help them grow up strong and confident - so they can learn and achieve.

If your child is between 5 and 16 years old and is a registered pupil at school, it is your legal responsibility to make sure they attend regularly.


Learning: It's very important for your child to go to school regularly and on time when they are in primary school.  If they miss lessons they don't learn vital skills - and it's hard for them to enjoy school and keep up with class mates.

Losing Confidence:  Children need confidence to achieve.  Feeling like a failure makes them unhappy in school and out of it.  If your child has any learning difficulties they need to be in school - so problems get noticed and they get help.

Friends and Social Life:  Friends are important to children.  School is a place for them to learn about getting on with other people.  If a child misses a lot of school it's hard for them to fir in with their group of friends.

Safety: If you let your child stay off school now, they are unlikely to go regularly when they get to secondary school.  Children and young people out of school are vunerable.  If you want your child to be safe later on, get them into the habit of going to school now.

Reasons For Not Wanting To Go To School

  • Problems with friends and bullying
  • Difficulties with learning
  • Worries about problems at home
  • Fear when starting a new school

Signs Of Unhappiness

  • Being quiet or behaving badly before school
  • Often saying they feel ill
  • Not talking about school
  • Changes in friendships

 Talk to your child - don't wait for them to tell you what's wrong.


A United Front: Listen to your child about problems at school.  Take them seriously - but don't critise members of staff.  Your child will feel more secure if they know you are working together with school to support them.

Keep In Touch: Don't be afraid to contact school about your child's needs - or other issues. Tell them about any problems at home which may affect your child.  Good communication between you and the school is good for your child.

Health Problems: If your child is ill, make sure you tell school on the first day they are absent.  If they have a long absence, ask for help to make sure they catch up what they have missed.

Develop Good Habits

  • Expect them to go to school everyday and get them there on time.
  • They need plenty of sleep on school nights.  Stick to a sensible bedtime
  • Don't let them watch telly, use the computer or play out just before bedtime
  • Sort out clothes and school bag in the evening.  Help them do it for themselves as they get older.

Take Holidays In The Holidays!

Don't take family holidays in term time.  Having time together won't make up for what they miss at school and you give them the message that school doesn't matter


Is the information on this page correct? If not, please let us know.