Independent schools and academies are free to determine the length of their daily sessions and their terms. While they are subject to statutory requirements with respect to effective teaching and the provision of a broad and balanced curriculum, they are not required to follow the National Curriculum or to adhere to any guidelines with respect to the amount of time that should be devoted to each subject.

The law requires parents to ensure that their child receives efficient full-time education and this normally takes place in a school. Where a child is registered at a school, parents are responsible for ensuring their child’s regular attendance. This topic sets out the procedures for dealing with absence, the reasons for which absences can be authorised by the school, how absence is reported, and the key measures for dealing with parents who do not fulfil their responsibility to ensure attendance.

Information about keeping attendance registers can be found in the Registers and Records topic.

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