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Dudley Council
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The Education Support Service (ESS) undertakes investigations into complaints raised by schools when a child exhibits unauthorised absence and all attempts to engage parents have failed.

These statutory services are free at the point of referral to all education providers, whether they are a maintained, an academy, a free or independent school or any provider to education of children of compulsory school age, unless educated otherwise than at school.


The service undertakes investigations independently of the school to ensure that the rights of the citizen, when an allegation of a criminal offence is made, are protected. 

As part of the investigation we will follow all lines of enquiry and interview witnesses to ensure that we get a full explanation of the facts where the evidence can be presented in a way that is not hearsay, but reliable and admissible in evidence.

Further information: 

Information about being a witness and the interview process (PDF 190.48KB)

The importance of Independent Investigation (PDF 47.78KB)

Fixed Penalties

We administer the Fixed Penalty Notice Scheme (attendance and exclusions) on behalf of the Dudley Council and schools. The system has been operating since 2006 and is proven to remove burdens on schools, such as appearing in court for none payment of fines.

Further information: 

Code of conduct regarding FPN updated 2017 (PDF 168.53KB)

Interviews under caution

Where parents are being investigated for an aggravated offence where they may receive a term of custody, investigating officers interview parents under caution before initiating proceedings. In these circumstances when a parent is prosecuted and does not attend court we do apply for an arrest warrant to secure their attendance.