Parents who do not send their children back to school in September will only be fined as a last resort, West Sussex County Council has said.
At a meeting of the full council, Nigel Jupp, cabinet member for education and skills, was asked what would happen if parents who were worried about the pandemic kept children away from lessons.
In a written answer, Mr Jupp said the council understood that parents and children might be anxious about going back and would work with schools to help prepare them "for safe and managed return".
He added: “The education and skills service will continue to work with schools to engage with and support parents in getting their children back into school before considering issuing penalties for poor attendance.
“Issuing fines for non-attendance is always a last resort.”
He said confidence was the key word, especially when it came to convincing parents that schools were doing all they could to "minimise health risks" for the children – many of whom would be returning after almost six months away.