Regular attendance at school is important to make sure that your child reaches their full potential.

It is important for children to attend school regularly. If they are unable to attend due to illness or for any other reason, please inform the school as soon as possible. A phone call to school is acceptable but we suggest you use an email or letter to the school.

You are legally responsible for making sure that your child attends school regularly and punctually.

Attendance procedure

If your child has an unsatisfactory attendance record then we will use a four step procedure to encourage them back to school.

Stage 1

We will send you a letter if attendance falls below 90% over a 6 week period.

Stage 2

We will invite you to a Maximising Attendance meeting if your child's attendance has not improved at all within 2 weeks, or not improved regularly within 4 weeks. At this meeting senior school staff will ask for reasons for the lack of improvement in attendance.

If you do not attend your child's case will be moved onto Stage 3.

Stage 3

If your child's attendance has still not improved at all within 2 weeks, or not improved regularly within 4 weeks then:

  • primary pupils will be referred to an appropriate case conference
  • secondary pupils will be seen by the Joint Agency Team (JAT).

If you withhold consent then your child's case may be referred to the Children's Reporter.

Stage 4

Your child's case will reach Stage 4 if there is still no improvement in attendance. We will refer your case to the Attendance Review Committee (ARC).

The ARC can do one or more of the following:

  • discharge the case if attendance has improved
  • ask for a medical examination by a community doctor
  • refer your child's case to the Children's Reporter
  • issue an Attendance Order
  • refer to legal services for prosecution if unauthorised absence continues
  • decision to undertake a Social Work Assessment (if one does not exist).

The parent guides available in the related links section give more details on attendance in West Dunbartonshire.

Find out more about:

Children's Hearings

Find more information on the Children's Hearings system.

Children's Reporter

The Scottish Government provides more information referrals to the Children's Reporter because of poor attendance at school.