School attendance: National thresholds for fixed penalty notices

New school attendance proposals will set national thresholds at which a fixed penalty notice must be considered and require schools to have an official attendance policy.

The Department for Education has published plans for consultation (DfE, 2022) that seek to end the “radically different approaches” to the use of sanctions across the country.

Ministers say that while some local authorities issued no fixed penalty notices (FPNs) to parents in 2020/21, others issued more than 1,500.

FPNs are currently £120, reduced to £60 if paid within 21 days and 45,809 were issued to parents during the 2020/21 academic year, with 76 per cent of these being for unauthorised family holidays.

The proposals set out a new regulatory framework for the issuing of FPNs, which would include the circumstances in which a fine “must be considered”. Such circumstances would include:

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