Attendance at School

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: What is a Truancy Penalty Notice?

Answer: A Truancy Penalty Notice (also known as Fixed Penalty Notice) is a fine which may be issued to parents where there is an unauthorised absence from school, as an alternative to prosecution. It does not require a court appearance and does not result in a criminal record. Payment of a Truancy Penalty Notice enables the parent/carer to discharge the potential liability for prosecution and subsequent conviction.

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Question: What is the cost of a Truancy Penalty Notice?

Answer: £60 if paid within 21 days or £120 if paid within 28 days.

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Question: How is a Truancy Penalty Notice issued?

Answer: By post, to your home address.

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Question: When are Truancy Penalty Notice’s issued?

Answer: A Truancy Penalty Notice is issued if a pupil has unauthorised absence from school and their parent/carer fails to co-operate with the Education & Inclusion Service to improve this situation; if a pupil has unauthorised absence from school and this does not improve following a warning letter; if a holiday is taken during term-time

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Question: Can I appeal against a Truancy Penalty Notice?

Answer: There is no statutory right of appeal. Once a Truancy Penalty Notice has been issued, it can only be withdrawn if it can be shown that it was issued in error.

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Question: What happens if I do not pay a Truancy Penalty Notice?

Answer: You will be given up to 28 days from receipt to pay the Truancy Penalty Notice in full. If you fail to do so, the Local Authority is required, by law, to commence proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court for the original offence of poor school attendance and/or punctuality.

If convicted of this offence under the Education Act 1996, there are a number of possible sentences including a fine of up to £1000 (in the case of a prosecution under section 444(1)) or a fine of up to £2500 and/or a period of up to 3 months’ imprisonment (in the case of a prosecution under section
444(1A)).


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Question: What if my child has further unauthorised absence from school?

Answer: If you pay the Truancy Penalty Notice and your child has further unauthorised absences, you may be prosecuted for the further unauthorised absences but not for the absences during the period covered by the Truancy Penalty Notice.

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Question: Can I get help if my child is not attending school?

Answer: Yes. Both the school and the Education & Inclusion Service are available to provide advice and support.

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Question: How do I pay a Truancy Penalty Notice?

Answer: Details of payment methods are included in the Truancy Penalty Notice. Payment can be made by telephone or online. Payment of a Truancy Penalty Notice in part or by instalments is not possible.

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