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New guideline on delaying school attendance to take effect in Seoul next month

A new guideline for delaying elementary and middle school admission for reasons such as studying abroad will come into force in Seoul starting next year.

The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education announced Sunday that it has prepared a revised guideline on encouraging school attendance for children who are subjected to mandatory education, which will be implemented from January 2019.

(Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education website)
(Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education website)

The revised guideline requires parents or guardians to visit schools in person to submit applications for school postponement and exemption from compulsory school attendance under unavoidable circumstances such as illness. Currently, such applications can be submitted online.

The education office explained it was difficult to identify false applications, such as those motivated by the desire to hide child abuse, when received online.

In addition, the conditional grace system for compulsory school attendance will be eliminated starting January.

The conditional grace system allows preschool parents or guardians to report the whereabouts of the child every month or every quarter when they want to postpone the school admission process for reasons such as studying abroad or going to uncertified educational facilities.

The education office decided to abolish the system because the system lacked legal basis and conflicts with guidelines for the management of school records.

However, those who have already sent their children to study abroad will not be affected by the change.

Meanwhile, the revised guidelines also include as a reason for exemption of school attendance disabilities that make special education difficult.

By Lee So-jeong (
Korea Herald Youtube