The Access and Engagement Service, AES, helps schools, children, young people and their families with school attendance, pupil engagement and attitudes to learning, safeguarding, children in employment or entertainment, children missing from education, educating children at home.
The AES provides a statutory attendance service enforcing through the courts, parents' responsibility to ensure regular attendance at school. Schools will support children and families when pupils are experiencing difficulties in school and these difficulties are disrupting their education. If there is no significant improvement in the child’s attendance and/or punctuality patterns following this support, then schools will make a referral to AES for statutory action to be implemented.
In enforcing attendance, AES Officers have a variety of powers to help them ensure that parents of statutory school aged children meet their legal responsibility regarding regular attendance at school. These powers include prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court under Section 444 Education Act 1996 and applications for Education Supervision Orders in the Family Proceedings Court under S36 Children Act 1989. In addition, they can issue a school attendance order on a parent, requiring the parent to register their child at a school if their child is not receiving a suitable education, appropriate to their age, aptitude and ability.
Safeguarding and Child Protection
The Principal Officer, Safeguarding in Education provides child protection and safeguarding advice and guidance to schools and colleges in all areas covered by the statutory guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2020.
Child Employment and Children in Entertainment
The AES also discharges the authority’s responsibility to monitor child employment by issuing children’s work permits, entertainment licences and chaperone licences.