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

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.

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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

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Parliament debated this topic

This topic was debated on 2 November 2020

Watch the petition 'No prosecution for parents that remove child from school during a pandemic.' being debated

Government responded

This response was given on 6 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

Read the response in full

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

Other parliamentary business

Tell us what you want to know about the Government's response to coronavirus

As the result of the large numbers of petitions and signatures we've received on coronavirus, we will be putting your concerns and questions directly to the Government at an evidence session (a question and answer session with representatives from the Government) in the coming days.

Tell us what question(s) you'd like us to the ask the Government and experts in this short survey: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/petitionscommittee/

We'll email you again to let you know more about the session, including when it's going to happen, who'll be taking part and how you can watch it live.

We will also email you a link to the video and a transcript of the session afterwards.

Who are we?

We are the House of Commons Petitions Committee. We are a cross-party group of MPs that looks at e-petitions submitted on petition.parliament.uk. We are independent from Government. You can find out more about us and our work on our website: http://www.parliament.uk/petitions-committee/role

You can follow the Petitions Committee on Twitter: @HoCpetitions

Petitions Committee questions Government on its response to coronavirus

Last week the Petitions Committee put some of the most popular questions from the public about coronavirus to the Government Minister for Schools, the Minister for Disabled People and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer. These included:

  • How long will schools be closed for and what will the impact be on exams and grades?
  • What financial support will be available for the self-employed?
  • What financial support will be offered to people who are unable to pay their rent or bills due to self-isolation or loss of work?
  • What support will be offered to the events, creative and hospitality industries now that pubs, clubs and cultural venues have been closed?
  • What clear, practical steps can people take to make sure they are following Government guidance on social distancing, household isolation and self-isolation?
  • Who is being tested and why, and will tests be made freely available to everyone?
  • What is the Government doing to ensure that everyone is getting the right information?

Watch the session on YouTube: https://youtu.be/aPLXJcZEfi8

Read the transcript: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/192/the-governments-response-to-coronavirus/publications/written-evidence/

Because of the large number of petitions that we continue to receive on coronavirus we have sent more questions to the Government to answer.

Read our letters to different Government Ministers: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/326/petitions-committee/publications/3/correspondence/

Some of the questions we’ve asked include:

  • When will testing capacity will be increased; who will testing be available for and will it be free?
  • What is being done to tackle the spread of disinformation?
  • How quickly will support for self-employed people be made available?
  • What will happen to the school year? Will summer holidays be cancelled so that children can catch up?
  • How are foodbanks being supported to continue operating during the outbreak?
  • What is being done to address panic buying and prevent price hikes of key items?
  • Will trains, buses and flights continue to operate? For how long?

We’ll email you again to let you know when we get a response to these questions, and to let you know about any more action the Committee takes.

Who are we?

We are the House of Commons Petitions Committee. We are a cross-party group of MPs that looks at e-petitions submitted on petition.parliament.uk. We are independent from Government. You can find out more about us and our work on our website.

You can follow the Petitions Committee on Twitter: @HoCpetitions.

Further information

You can read impartial House of Commons Library information about coronavirus here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/coronavirus/

You can find out more about coronavirus and how you can protect yourself and others here:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

You can read NHS tips to help if you are worried about coronavirus here: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-anxiety-tips