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The Education Investigation Service (EIS) 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 operates a crime prevention strategy, in other words enabling early intervention to try to head off the offending behaviour of parents. Schools should refer to the service even if support is being provided from elsewhere, justice delayed is justice denied which could further delay the absence being challenged.

The service undertakes these investigations independently (see independent investigation below) of the school to ensure that the rights of the citizen, when an allegation of a criminal offence is made, are protected. Please see our mission statement on our main page in this regard.

We administer the Fixed Penalty Notice Scheme (attendance and exclusions) on behalf of local authority and schools the system is proven and successfully operated since 2006 removing burdens on schools, such as appearing in court for none payment of fines.

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. (Please see below “Being a Witness”)

Where parents are being investigated for the 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.