You have a legal responsibility to make sure your child attends school. If your child misses school without an acceptable reason, you could be fined or prosecuted.

Most absences for acceptable reasons will be authorised by the school. These include:

  • sickness
  • unavoidable medical or dental appointments (if possible, you should arrange these for after school or during school holidays) 
  • days of religious observance
  • exceptional family circumstances, such as bereavement 
  • an interview with a prospective employer or college

Your child’s school will not authorise absences for the following reasons: 

  • shopping during school hours 
  • day trips 
  • term time holidays
  • birthdays 

If your child misses school without an explanation from you, or if the school is not satisfied with the explanation, the absence will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’, that is, truancy.

Although you may provide a reason for the absence, it is the school that decides whether the absence is recorded as authorised or unauthorised.

If you think there may be a reason why your child does not want to go to school, you should speak to your child’s class teacher for help and support.

View the Attendance - Model policy document.

Fixed penalty notices

If your child has 10 days or more unauthorised absences, or is late on more than 20 sessions (10 school days), you could be issued with a fixed penalty notice.

If you pay within 28 days, the fine is £60. If you pay after 28 days, but within 42 days, the fine is £120.  If you have not paid the penalty fine in full by the 43rd day, legal action could be taken against you.

You can pay a fixed penalty notice in one of the following ways:

  • By debit or credit card:  Payment can be made by debit or credit card by telephoning 01824 706000;
  • One Stop Shops: Denbighshire has a network of One Stop Shops where you can make a payment. 

Further information: