When can penalty notices be used?
Penalty notices can be used if a pupil is absent from school without permission or good reason and if the absence is unauthorised by the school.
In all cases a warning notice will first be issued. Following the warning notice, if a pupil has twenty unauthorised sessions of absence, a penalty notice will be issued.
If a pupil arrives at school after the register has closed it is recorded as an unauthorised absence. Twenty unauthorised sessions will result in a penalty notice being issued. In all cases a warning notice will be issued.
Holidays in term time
Schools are no longer allowed to authorise any leave during term time except in very exceptional circumstances which will be at the head teacher's discretion. Unauthorised leave if taken will result in a fixed penalty fine being issued. The fines are issued per parent per child.
An excluded pupil is found in a public place during the school day
If an excluded pupil is found in a public place during the school day, the Attendance, Behaviour and Traveller Support Service will check whether the pupil was excluded at the time. If they were excluded, then a penalty notice will be issued. A school is not seen as a public place under the Education and Inspections Act 2006.
What is the cost?
- The penalty is £60 if you pay within 21 days
- This goes up to £120 after 21 days. You must pay within 28 days to avoid prosecution
- Details of how to pay will be included on the penalty notice. You cannot pay in instalments and debit cards are accepted
Can I appeal against a penalty notice?
There is no right of appeal against a penalty notice, however if you receive a fixed penalty notice you can contact the Attendance, Behaviour and Traveller Support Service or your child's school for advice.
What happens if I refuse to pay?
Once you receive the penalty notice you have up to 28 days to pay. If you are unable to pay you will be prosecuted in a Magistrates court. If you are found guilty you could be asked to pay a fine of up to £1,000 plus costs.