Local Authority Prosecution

If your child is absent from school without a good reason, Local Authorities can bring a prosecution. At Tees, our specialist education solicitors can help prepare, represent and support you.

Jamie Hare, Chelmsford
Jamie Hare Litigation

Children of compulsory school age should receive full time education. Local Authorities in England have a statutory duty to determine whether education is being provided, and to a sufficient standard.

Whilst the Local Authorities should make reasonable efforts with schools and parents to ensure that children are receiving the necessary level of education through the use of parenting contracts, penalty notices and school attendance orders. If a parent fails to get their child to regularly attend school the Local Authorities can bring a prosecution.


What are their powers?

Only Local Authorities have the power to bring a prosecution against parents who;

  • Fail to comply with a School Attendance Orders
  • Fail to ensure their child’s regular attendance at school
  • Knowingly allow their child to be absent from school without authorisation
  • Persistently fail to comply with directions given under an Education Supervision Orders.

Our services

We can advise, prepare, and represent you in any prosecution brought by a Local Authority.

We’re here to help

You’ll find our team of education lawyers friendly and easy to talk to and we understand the ins-and-outs of education law.

Our education law team is based in:

Cambridgeshire: Cambridge

Essex: Brentwood, Chelmsford, and Saffron Walden

Hertfordshire: Bishop's Stortford and Royston

But we can help you wherever you are in England and Wales.

Local authority prosecution – FAQs

Can a parent be prosecuted?

Yes, local authorities can bring prosecutions against parents for offences found in sections 443 and 444 of the Education Act 1996. That being failure to comply with a school attendance order or failure to secure regular attendance at school of a registered pupil.

What is Section 444 of the Education Act 1966?

Section 444 of the Education Act 1996 makes it an offence if a child is absent from school without authorisation.

Is it a criminal offence not to send children to school?

Failure to ensure a child’s regular attendance at the school at which he/she is a registered pupil is a criminal offence under the Education Act 1996.

What is an Education Supervision Order?

If the local authority thinks a parent needs support getting a child to go to school but the parent is not co-operating, the local authority can apply to a court for an Education Supervision Order. A supervisor will be appointed to help you get your child into education.

What is a School Attendance Order?

A parent can be served with a School Attendance Order if the local authority thinks a child is not receiving an education. Upon receipt, a parent will have 15 days to provide evidence that they have registered a child with a school listed in the order or that the parent is giving them home education. If a parent does not, the local authority could be prosecuted or given a fine.

Make an inquiry

Please opt into our newsletter

From time to time, Tees would like to email you articles and updates about the range of legal and financial professional services we provide.

Would you like to sign up to receive these? You can opt out any time.

View our legal services privacy notice and our financial services privacy notice 

Designed and built by Onespacemedia