School Attendance

As a parent, you are legally responsible for making sure that your child attends school.  

If your child fails to attend school without an acceptable reason, you risk getting a Fixed Penalty Notice or being prosecuted. 

If your child cannot attend school, you must notify the school to explain why as soon as possible.  

Your child’s school can authorise absences if: 

  • Your child is too ill to attend school
  • They have a dental or medical appointment
  • There is a bereavement of a relative
  • There is a need for religious observance

The following are not acceptable reasons to miss school and may be classed as unauthorised:  

  • day trips
  • shopping trips
  • days off for birthdays
  • to visit relatives
  • sleeping in
  • to look after siblings


You must make a formal request to the Headteacher to take children on holiday during the school term. If the request is declined, it will be classed as unauthorised, and you may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.   

There are 190 school days in a year, which leaves 175 days on weekends and during school holidays. Check when they are here: School Term and Holiday Dates. 


Torfaen Council’s education service has launched a campaign to celebrate the varied benefits of going to school every day.  Search the hashtag on social media to find out what is happening at your local school. 

Pupils and staff from Llanyrafon Primary School and Abersychan School were among the first to be featured in a series of social media videos promoting just some of the reasons their pupils - and staff - love going to school.

Having difficulties getting your child to school? 

If your child does not want to go to school, you can speak to your child's class teacher, Head of Year or Headteacher for help and support. There is also advice and support available from the school’s Education Welfare Officer. 

Last Modified: 22/11/2023
For more information contact:

Inclusion Service


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