School attendance and welfare
As a parent or carer you are legally responsible for making sure that your child attends school and arrives on time. If your child fails to attend school (or an alternative education provision) without an authorised, acceptable reason you risk getting a penalty notice or being prosecuted.
Irregular attendance and Penalty Notices
A Penalty Notice involves a fine of £60 (rising to £120 if not paid after 28 days but within 42 days) following at least 10 sessions (5 school days) of unauthorised absence during a school term. Persistent late arrival at school i.e. after the register has closed, may also incur a Penalty Notice.
Before any penalty notice is issued consideration is given as to whether it is in the public interest and whether there may be mitigating factors.
How a Penalty Notice will be used
- It is ONE of a number of tools that can be used alongside Education Supervision Orders (ESO) to improve attendance.
- It will be applied with an understanding of the context and background of the pupil's circumstances
- A pupil's attendance needs to drop below a particular level before a Penalty Notice is used.
How Penalty Notices will not be used
- It will not be used for a pupil on the first day that he/she is out of school
- It will not be used for every pupil who fits the criteria without taking into account the context. It will not be considered where there are mitigating factors.
- It is not a holiday fine or penalty notice for every pupil who takes a holiday. It will only be considered if there is regular non-attendance.