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School absence due to illness

If an accident or health condition means that your child is missing school regularly, or for a long period, we are legally responsible for providing them with education. You can view information about our responsibility on the GOV.UK website

Select a topic below to learn more about how we deliver education outside school, the responsibilities we have, and the commitments we expect from you and your child's school. 

Alternative education provision

We will make alternative arrangements to ensure your child is still getting an education, as much as their health allows. We will arrange the amount and form of education, and the location of lessons, based on medical advice. We provide a Hospital Education and Reintegration Service (HERS)

Your parental responsibilities

As soon as your child is unable to attend school, you should contact the school and explain why. You will need to do this on a daily basis, unless the school advises you otherwise. 

The school's responsibilities

Your child's school will inform us if the absence is likely to be for 15 days or more in a school year. They must pass on details of your child's needs and abilities, and their current school work, to enable us to organise appropriate lesson provision. They will also have a plan to help your child reintegrate and settle once they are well enough to go back to school. Contact the school directly to ask about these arrangements.

Our responsibilities

The law states that there must be alternative arrangements for your child's education within 15 days of absence for ongoing health related reasons. In order to meet this obligation, we need to be informed as soon as possible of the absence.

If you and the school know about the absence in advance, or the school tell us from the outset that the absence is likely to be long-term, we will try to organise for lessons to start as early as possible.

If you need to get in touch

If you have further questions, you can view our policy for ensuring a good education for children who cannot attend school because of health needs. In every case, you should contact your child's school in the first instance. If there are still issues to be resolved, you can email our senior officer responsible for managing these arrangements at