Formal Action: Non Attendance at School

School Attendance Order (SAO)

A School Attendance Order (SAO) referral form must be used to report children where you, the named school, are not satisfied that the parents are providing a suitable education to a child of compulsory school age and it is appropriate for the child to attend school - Section 437(3) Education Act 1996.

The SAO will require the child’s parents/carers to register the child at the named school or advise the named school what other education arrangements have been made. Failure to comply with a School Attendance Order amounts to an offence for which the parent can be prosecuted in court.

The school will make a referral for a school attendance order to be served on parents/carers when all of the following circumstances apply:

  • The child is of compulsory school age;
  • The family will not agree a start date with the named school or the Elective Home Education Service;
  • It has been established that the child is not receiving education elsewhere.