Important Changes to Attendance Procedures for Issuing Penalty Notices for Unauthorised Absence
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.
There have been some very recent changes in the Local Authorities’ Code of Conduct
From 1st January 2018 any period of unauthorised leave may result in you as a parent receiving a penalty notice fine. Your head teacher will continue to be the only person able to authorise leave in term time, but this will apply only in exceptional circumstances. Any unauthorised absence will be referred by your head teacher to the local authority.
Previously a pupil had to achieve 20 unauthorised late marks before a penalty notice warning could be issued. This has now changed to 10 marks, and late marks do not have to be one after the other in order for the penalty notice to be issued. You are therefore encouraged where possible to ensure your child attends school on time. However, if your child is late you must inform the school of the reason(s) why, as they may be able to offer you some form of advice or support.
If your child has had 10 days unauthorised absence or is late 10 times over a twelve week period, you may receive a penalty warning notice and also potentially a fine.
These changes have been implemented to help promote and support good attendance to school. Futher details and a copy of the revised Code of Conduct for issuing Penalty Notices can be obtained from the council's website www.staffordshire.gov.uk/education.
St Joseph's 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.
Thank you for your support.