A school attendance fixed penalty notice (FPN) is offered as an alternative to prosecuting parents or carers who do not ensure their child attends school regularly.
A School Attendance FPN is £60 if paid within 28 days of receipt of the notice and rises to £120 if paid after 28 days but within 42 days of receipt. If the FPN is not paid in full by the end of 42 days we must either:
Reasons for issuing a school attendance fixed penalty notice
We can issue a School Attendance Fixed Penalty Notice for the following reasons:
- Where there is a minimum of 10 unauthorised sessions (5 school days) in the current term (these do not need to be consecutive) which may or may not include pupils who are persistently arriving after the close of the registration period (Recommended that registers be kept open for thirty minutes);
- where a parent(s) refuses to engage with a school in the interest of improving their child’s school attendance levels
- where a pupil is repeatedly caught truanting in public places during school hours (Police can request a penalty notice be issued for this offence)
- where a holiday in term time has been requested but has been unauthorised (see guidance on holidays in term time)
If a school requests a fixed penalty notice to be issued, we will review the information and only issue a fixed penalty notice if it is appropriate to do so.
For reasons 1 to 4, parents will be given 15 days to ensure that their child attends school and as long as no other unauthorised absence is recorded by the school during that time, a fixed penalty notice will not be issued. However, if an unauthorised absence has been recorded by the school in that 15 day period, a fixed penalty notice will be issued.
An unauthorised absence is an absence from school that is not justified or considered acceptable by the Head Teacher.
It is only the Head Teacher of your child's school who can authorise a pupil's absence.
You can improve your child's attendance and avoid a Fixed Penalty Notice by following these steps:
- ensure that your child attends school every day and arrives on time
- if your child is ill, make sure you make contact with the school on the first day and explain the circumstances. You may be asked to provide medical evidence in order for the absence to be authorised.
- avoid arranging holidays during term time
How to pay your school attendance fixed penalty notice
You can pay your School Attendance Fixed Penalty notice online.
Pay a school attendance fixed penalty notice online
For alternative ways to pay please consult your notice.
There is no statutory right of appeal. Once a Fixed Penalty Notice has been issued it can only be withdrawn if it can be shown that it was issued in error.
Find more information in the Fixed Penalty Notices for non-attendance at school guide.