truancy and anti-social behaviour information for parents

Truancy & Antisocial Behaviour

Truancy can involve missing full days of school or skipping certain classes and is a significant problem in the UK.  At least 1 million children in the UK take at least one half day without permission.  

Truancy can be a straightforward act of rebellion, however it could also mean that your child is having problems with their school work or is being bullied. If your child is skipping school or classes, not only can they get in trouble with the school authorities and fall behind with their school work but they are more likely to put themselves in physical danger or get drawn into criminal activity or anti-social behaviour.  

As a parent/carer you are legally responsible for ensuring your child attends regularly.  If your child fails to do so, you risk getting a penalty notice or being prosecuted. Truancy is closely related to crime and anti-social behaviour.  A quarter of all school age offenders have been regular truants.


•  Young people who truant are more likely to use alcohol or drugs
•  Young people who are involved in crime or anti-social  behaviour are more likely to become young parents
•  Young people who regularly skip school are more likely to have early sex
•  Truants are more likely to get involved in crime and anti-social behaviour
•  Young people who truant or get involved in crime and anti-social behaviour can seriously harm their future education and chances of getting a job

Warning signs:

Some of these behaviours are normal, but several of the warning signs seen together may be an indication that your child is at risk. For help and advice contact one of the organisations listed below.

•  Changes in friendship groups
•  Telling you they are bored with school, or reports of bad behaviour in school
•  Alcohol or drug use
•  Staying out late at night
•  Becoming withdrawn, distant or secretive

Where to get help:

School attendance

Dorset Safe Schools Team: 01202 222844, Dorset Safe Schools Team

For more information:

Parentline Plus: A national charity providing free, 24 hour help/ support. Visit  or call 0808 800 22 22

Bullying & Cyber Safety

Truancy & Antisocial behaviour

Subtance Use and Smoking Alcohol
Sexual Health & Teenage Pregnancy Self Harm
Eating Disorders Obesity