East Lothian Council

Unauthorised absence from school

What are your responsibilities regarding school attendance?

Parents and carers are responsible for ensuring that their child attends school regularly.

Absences in term-time are very disruptive to your child's education and may mean he or she will have to spend a lot of time catching up on work they have missed.

Unauthorised absence

If you fail to satisfy the school that your child should be absent, this is considered to be an unauthorised absence. To avoid being put in this position, you should:

  • ensure you agree planned absences with the school in advance (e.g. time off for medical appointments or a funeral)
  • ring your child's school by 9.30am if he or she is going to be off school because of illness
  • update the school regularly on how long you think your child will be absent and arrange for work to be sent home for them, if possible 

Holidays during term time

Parents are encouraged to take holidays wherever possible outwith term times, and the majority of family holidays taken during term time will be classed as unauthorised absence.

However, under exceptional circumstances schools can authorise a family holiday during term time. If you think that this applies in your case, please discuss the situation directly with your child's school - see contact information at the foot of this page.

East Lothian Council, John Muir House Brewery Park Haddington East Lothian EH41 3HA.