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No prosecution for parents that remove child from school during a pandemic.

Submitted by M Wardale on Thursday 5th March 2020

Published on Tuesday 10th March 2020

Current status: Closed

Closed: Thursday 10th September 2020

Signatures: 100,633

Relevant Departments

Tagged with

Child ~ Children ~ Covid ~ Covid-19 ~ Economy ~ Schools

Petition Action

No prosecution for parents that remove child from school during a pandemic.

Petition Details

Legislate to allow parents to have the option to remove their children from school if there is a pandemic e.g. Coronavirus or similar without negative action by schools or local authorities. They shouldn’t lose the child’s place in the school or face any kind of prosecution.

Additional Information

Professionals do not know enough about the disease to 100% ensure our children and or their familIes are safe. If a child picked it up at school and is a symptomatic will pass it to family that could be old and or vulnerable. As well as many children being vulnerable and having health issues.

We understand the economy of closing all schools but for those parents that are able to do this should be given the option. It’s a safe guarding concern by any parent and should be taken seriously


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Government Response

The Government responded to this petition on Monday 6th April 2020

The Government has introduced emergency legislation in response to the pandemic. The Coronavirus Act 2020 allows a suspension of the duty on parents to secure regular school attendance for their child

The Government has introduced emergency legislation in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Coronavirus Act 2020 allows a suspension of the duty on parents to secure regular school attendance for their child.

From Friday 20 March, schools, colleges and early years settings have been closed to everyone except children of critical workers and vulnerable children, as part of the country’s ongoing response to coronavirus.

In addition, the Government has set out an expectation to local authorities that even those parents whose children are eligible to attend school should not be penalised for absence at this time.

A pupil’s name can only be lawfully deleted from the school admission register in accordance with the grounds prescribed in regulation 8 of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 as amended. Grounds for deletion due to absence is met if the absence is unauthorised and at least twenty consecutive days, where there is no reason to believe the absence is due to sickness or any unavoidable cause, and where the school and Local Authority cannot ascertain after reasonable enquiry where the pupil is.

We deem that absence related to the coronavirus pandemic would meet the grounds prescribed. As long as the school knows where a pupil is and why they aren’t attending, there should be no risk of the pupil losing their school place.

Department for Education

Parliamentary Debate

This petition has reached the threshold for a Parliamentary debate, but the debate has not yet been scheduled.

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