Non-attendance and holidays in term time
Improving regular attendance at school is a key priority, both locally and nationally. The Welsh Government has introduced important amendments to legislation surrounding school attendance.
The Education Act 1996 makes it a criminal offence for a parent to “fail to secure their child’s regular attendance at the school
The new amendments include a penalty notice scheme. This means that a Head teacher can request the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice for irregular attendance of a child or young person registered in their school. This includes pupils who attend an alternative education provision arranged by the Local Authority.
Examples of when a Fixed Penalty Notice can be issued
- Unauthorised absences - Where at least 10 sessions (5 schools days) are lost to unauthorised absences; these do not need to be consecutive. You will receive a formal notification from the Head teacher explaining the actions that may be taken;
- Holidays in term time - Parents do not have the automatic right to withdraw their children from school for an annual holiday and will be reminded of the effect absences can have on a pupil’s potential achievement. If you wish to take a holiday during term time you must apply in advance in writing to the school explaining the circumstances for the leave of absence. The school will consider any application for leave of absence, taking into account factors such as the time of year and overall attendance pattern, however parents should be made aware that a Fixed Penalty Notice could be issued for unauthorised leave of absence for five consecutive school days or more taken during term time, when there is a history of irregular attendance.
- Persistent late arrival – at least 10 sessions of late arrival at school after the register has closed (there are two sessions in a school day, morning and afternoon);
- Truancy – where a child or young person comes to the attention of the Police during school hours for being absent from their registered school without an acceptable reason.
The definition of “parent” includes all natural parents, whether they are married or not; and includes any person who, although not a natural parent, has parental responsibility and/or care for a child or young person.
Code of Conduct Education Fixed Penalty Notices (PDF)
- Paid within 28 days - £60 per parent per child
- After 28 days and before 42 days - £120 per parent per child
- After 42 days - You will receive a summons to appear before the Magistrates’ Court on the grounds you have failed to secure your child’s regular attendance
Section 444 of the Education Act 1996, makes it a criminal offence for a parent to fail to secure their child’s attendance at the school at which they are registered and where that absence is not authorised by the school. Therefore if the penalty notice is paid within the time limits above, no further action will be taken in connection with the offence. If the fixed penalty notice remains unpaid the parent/carer will be prosecuted in magistrate’s court for the offence.
Payment can be made in person at any of our cash offices during office opening hours. Alternatively you can post the payment with the completed form with a cheque or postal order made payable to Caerphilly County Borough Council to:
The Senior Administrative Officer, Education Welfare Service/FPN payments, Penallta House, Tredomen Park, Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed, CF82 7PG.
Guidance on penalty notices for regular non-attendance at school (PDF 423kb)