Education Welfare Service

School Attendance

A penalty notice requires the parent(s) to pay a fixed amount as a fine for their child's irregular attendance and avoid legal proceedings.

Cost of Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN)

The fine is £60 to be paid within 21 days and is for each parent of each child. The 21 day period begins 2 days after the date shown on the Penalty Notice. If the fine isn't paid within 21 days, it rises to £120 for a further 7 days. If it's still not paid, the matter may be sent for prosecution (not for the unpaid fine but the original offence).

The penalty notice will be sent to your home.

All payments are to be paid directly to Achieving for Children as outlined on the penalty notice form.

Responsibilities as a parent

Unless you can show that you're making your own arrangements for your child to be educated other than at school, you must ensure your child attends school regularly. You'll be committing an offence if your child fails to attend school regularly without good reason or without the headteacher's permission. Only your child's school can authorise an absence.

In the 1996 Act, a parent is defined as:

i) any natural parent

ii) anyone who is not the natural parent of the child but has parental responsibility for the child

iii) any person, who although not a natural parent, has care of a child


Warnings will be issued directly by schools. The number of warnings may vary from school to school. Contact your child's school for further details.

Term-time leave

Parents aren't entitled to take their children on leave during term-time. Leave may only be taken with written approval from the headteacher. A penalty notice may be issued for any term-time leave which hasn't been authorised by the headteacher.

Appealing a penalty notice

There's no right of appeal once the penalty notice has been issued. You may face a prosecution in the Magistrates' Court for your child's non-attendance should you fail to pay the penalty notice fine.

You can find the Fixed Penalty Notice here.