School Attendance & Truancy Penalty Notices
As a local authority we have statutory powers under the Education Act 1996 to ensure children attend school. If we fail to successfully engage with the family to improve attendance, we may have to consider the use of parental responsibility measures.
The Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 allows parents / carers to be issued with a truancy penalty notice if their child of compulsory school age fails to attend school on a regular basis.
A penalty notice is initially for £60. If this £60 is not paid within 21 days from the date of issue it rises to £120. If, after 28 days of the date of issue the £120 is not paid we can prosecute the parents under section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996. This will lead to a hearing in the Magistrates Court and may result in a fine of up to £1,000.
Requesting a leave of absence in term time
Only the head teacher of your child’s school can grant a leave of absence during term time. They can only grant a leave of absence if there are exceptional circumstances to justify this.
Code of Conduct for issuing Penalty Notices
All authorities are required to have a code of conduct in relation to the issuing of penalty notices.
Regular and punctual attendance at school is both a legal requirement and essential for students to maximise their educational opportunities. In recognition of this, the law makes it an offence for a parent or carer to fail to secure the regular attendance of their child at the school which the child is registered at, without good reason or the agreement of the school.
Penalty notices are one of the sanctions available for this offence and offer a means of swift intervention, which can be used to combat attendance problems before they become habitual.
Frequently asked questions
- Can I appeal the penalty notice?
There is no right of appeal against a penalty notice. Unless a penalty notice has been issued outside of the code of conduct.
- Why have I been issued a notice when my children only missed a short period of school?
On the 6th April 2017 the Supreme Court ruled in the Isle of Wight Council v Platt case, that regular attendance at school meant that a parent must ensure their child attends school every day the school is open.
- My children's attendance is normally good
Previous regular attendance is not a factor in considering whether to issue a penalty notice or not in this instance. (see above)
- Why have both parents received a penalty notice?
The Education Act 1996, makes it clear that both parents are responsible for their child’s attendance, therefore, each parent receives a penalty notice.
- Who do you class as a parent?
The natural parents of a child, whether they are married or not. Any person who has parental responsibility for a child. Anyone who has the care of a child i.e. lives with and looks after the child. (section 576 of the Education Act 1996)
- Can I have a payment plan?
Penalty notices have to be paid in full within the time specified in the notice. Part payments are not accepted and payment plans are not available.
If you have been issued with a Truancy Penalty Notice please click on the link below to make payment. You will need to provide the reference number that is printed in the top right-hand corner of the notice.
If you have been issued with a Truancy Penalty Notice please click on the link below to make payment. You will need to provide the reference number that is printed in the top right hand corner of the notice.
If you have any queries in relation to a Truancy Penalty Notice or have concerns around your child’s school attendance please contact the Education Welfare Service on 01782 235355 or via email at Education.firstname.lastname@example.org