Attendance Procedures for Issuing Penalty Notices for Unauthorised Absence/ Late Arrival at School
You may recall that the Department for Education (DfE) have introduced changes to the law regarding parents taking their children out of school during term time. It is illegal for headteachers to grant any leave of absence during term time unless in exceptional circumstances.
Penalty notices ranging from £60 to £120 can be issued to parents by the LEA in the following circumstances:
At least 10 school days lost due to unauthorised absence during the current and previous term.
- Unauthorised absences of at least 5 days due to holidays in term time
- Persistent late arrival at school (at least 20 sessions).
- Parents are given 28 days to pay the penalty notice.
There have been some very recent changes in the Local Authorities’ Code of Conduct
The main changes made are as follows.
Penalty Notice for leave of absence
- Removal of the requirement for attendance to be below 87% before a Penalty Notice can be issued. This means that the parents of any child taking unauthorised absence can be issued with a penalty notice. For example, in the case of a holiday during term time
- A parent can now receive more than one Penalty Notice per academic year.
- Ten sessions of unauthorised absence no longer have to be consecutive and only two sessions have to be for unauthorised leave of absence
- The period for calculating the ten sessions is based on the previous three school terms.
Penalty Notice for Persistent Absence
Parents will now only receive one warning notice period for improvement in attendance in a single academic year. If attendance deteriorates again then no further formal warning notice will be issued and the Local Authority can automatically consider other statutory actions if unauthorised absence re-occurs.
Painsley is obliged to follow these new procedures. It is extremely important that your child’s education programme is not disrupted by unauthorised absence. Only in exceptional circumstances can the Principal grant any leave of absence.