School meals

Pupils who are eligible for free school meals have the option to claim weekly shopping vouchers from their schools during the coronavirus outbreak. Schools across the borough are currently providing meals for children, but parents can also ask for the £15 weekly vouchers to spend in a number of supermarkets. Please liaise with your individual schools for further information.

Key workers and schools

Children with a parent or carer who is listed on the government’s critical worker list should be considered for a school or nursery place, as long as their parent’s or carer’s job cannot be done from home. However, every child that can be safely cared for at home should remain at home to help stop the virus from spreading. If both parents/carers are key workers and one of them is able to provide childcare they should do so. Please contact your individual schools and nurseries to find out about the provisions they have in place.

Help with your child's learning at home

We have compiled a list of the best websites that offer free learning resources, ideas, activities, lessons and more, for you to use at home. View the list

School closures

Schools in Havering and across the UK will close as part of the government’s response to curb the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19). From Friday (20 March 2020) schools will be closed until further notice but will remain open to children of key workers and vulnerable children. Read our full school closure statement


Havering Council has an attendance, behaviour and traveller support team which works with schools/academies with statutory school age pupils. This service aims to improve school attendance, reduce truancy, and ensure all pupils benefit from the education provided in Havering.

Attendance, Behaviour and Traveller Support Service
9th Floor Mercury House,
Mercury Gardens,
01708 431777

The law on school attendance and absence

By law all children of compulsory school age must receive a suitable full-time education. This normally means registering their child at a school - though some choose to make other arrangements to provide a suitable, full-time education. Once your child is registered at a school, you are legally responsible for making sure they attend regularly. If your child fails to do so, you risk receiving a penalty notice or being prosecuted.

For more information please view our truancy fine page.

Preventing your child from missing school: what you can do

You can help prevent your child missing their education by:

  • ​Making sure they understand the importance of good attendance and punctuality
  • Taking an interest in their education - ask about school work and encourage them to get involved in school activities
  • Discussing any problems they may have at school - inform their teacher or head teacher about anything serious
  • Not letting them take time off school for minor ailments - particularly those which would not prevent you from going to work
  • Arranging appointments and outings after school hours, at weekends or during school holidays will help to prevent disruption to your child's education and to the school. Under normal circumstances, you should not expect the school to agree to your child going on holiday during term time.

How we work

Schools can refer pupils to us when they are concerned about their school attendance. You can contact us for advice and information if you are having difficulty in making sure your child attends school regularly.

Other agencies such as health, social services and the police can also refer families to us. 

Attendance Officers check school attendance registers regularly. They will usually discuss your child's circumstances with the designated member of staff at the school if your child's attendance is a cause for concern.

We would rather work with you to improve your child's attendance and we would make every effort to contact you to discuss the concerns, this could be by letter or home visit.

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