Absence Information

Penalty Notice for Non-School Attendance

Please find below important information from the Local Authority that we are required to share with all parents concerning absence from School. It is for information only and outlines the actions that could be taken against parents/carers regarding attendance.

Penalty Notices for Non- school attendance:

Section 444(A) of the Education Act 1996 empowers the local authority to issue Penalty Notices in cases of unauthorised absence from school. This means that when a pupil has unauthorised absence of 10 sessions (5 days) or more, in any 12 week period (where no acceptable reason has been given for the absence) or if their child persistently arrives late for school after the close of registration, their parents or carers may receive a Penalty Notice fine. Penalty Notices can be issued to each parent liable for the attendance offence or offences. Each fine is £60 if paid within 21 days rising to £120 if paid within 28 days. Failure to make the payment will result in the Local Authority taking legal action for failure to ensure regular attendance at school under Section 444(1) Education Act 1996.

In law, an offence occurs if a parent or carer fails to secure a child’s regular attendance at school. Oakdale School, in conjunction with Tameside Education Welfare Service and Greater Manchester Police, will use these powers as an early deterrent to prevent patterns of unauthorised absence developing.

Parents may also receive a Penalty Notice without a warning letter for the offence of failing to secure regular school attendance for the following reasons:

  • If their child is stopped on a truancy sweep more than once.
  • If they go on holiday in term time.
  • If they have not co-operated with the Head Teacher and Education Welfare following a referral from school after they have taken steps to address the absences with the parent/carer and pupil.

The Local Authority and schools are committed to providing the best possible future for your child. If you have concerns about your child’s attendance at school or if you are experiencing any difficulties, contact the school and ask for help.

Holidays During Term Time

The Governing Body of the school has a discretionary power to allow pupils to be absent during term time to take a family holiday. This can only be granted in exceptional circumstances, and the pupil’s attendance record will be taken into account when any request for leave of absence is considered. Parents are reminded that leave of absence during term time is not a right, and will only be granted with the greatest reluctance, as any absence has a detrimental effect on a pupil’s academic progress and overall attendance level. Absence for holidays, which have not previously been approved, will be categorised as unauthorised.

Section 444(a) of the Education Act 1996 empowers the local authority to issue Penalty Notices to parents/carers if they go on holiday in term time without school’s permission or are late returning from an extended holiday,) they may receive a Penalty Notice fine of £60, which must be paid within 28 days. If payment is made after 28 days but within 42 days, the penalty is increased to £120. Where a fine remains unpaid after 42 days, the matter will be referred to the Borough Solicitor, who will consider instigating criminal proceedings.

As the Governing Body must consider the request for absence, please ensure that the application is submitted to school well before the proposed period of absence.