Attendance: Proposed new thresholds look set to increase parental fines

Students with SEN and those living in poverty are more likely to fall foul of new tougher non-attendance thresholds and therefore face the threat of a fixed penalty notice.

An analysis shows that in spring term 2022, as many as 550,000 students met the proposed new non-attendance thresholds that have been published for consultation this week by the Department for Education (DfE, 2022a).

However, pupils with SEND and those on free school meals were significantly more likely to trigger potential fixed penalty notices than their peers.

The DfE’s consultation sets out four national thresholds above which schools and local authorities will be obliged to consider issuing parental fines for a child’s non-attendance at school.

It comes after new attendance guidance was published in May (DfE, 2022b). The guidance will apply in non-statutory form from September although schools can expect it to be given statutory status by September 2023.

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