Good school attendance is extremely important. Children are unlikely to succeed in school and make the best possible start in life if they don’t attend school regularly. There is clear evidence which links educational achievement to good school attendance.
The following is a Welsh Government All Wales approach (more details can be found here: wvw.Wales.gov.uk).
Denbighshire County Council is responsible for developing a local protocol in which school and other services can jointly work to meet the legislation requirements of unauthorised school absence Section 444, Education Act 1996. This will include penalty notices as one of the interventions to promote better school attendance.
Fixed Penalty Notices and other sanctions will only be used where parental co-operation with this process is either absent or deemed to be insufficient to resolve the problem.
If your child has at least 20 sessions (10 school days) of unauthorised absence for any reason, this is likely to trigger a fixed penalty notice. This will include holidays, lateness after close of register and any other unauthorised absence. For full details please see the link below. The school can request that the Local Authority issue you with a fixed penalty notice; this applies to Year 1 – Year 11 children only.
The action will be used as a means to support parents to meet their legal responsibilities and only where there is a reasonable expectation that their use will secure improved school attendance.
You need to be aware that, although you may provide a reason for absence, it is the school which decides if the absence is recorded as authorised or unauthorised.
Use of Fixed Penalty Notices will be restricted to one notice per parent of a pupil per academic year.
However if your child has further unauthorised absences during the academic year this will be dealt with by the school using Denbighshire’s attendance policy which could result in parental prosecution.
This would only be in the eventuality that the school received no engagement or cooperation from the parents/carers.
Please could you not take family holidays during the school term, unless in exceptional circumstances.
The All Wales Attendance Framework provides further guidance on the application of decisions taken by the school. This can be accessed from wvw.Wales.gov.uk
A leaflet outlining the process and arrangement for payments will be sent to every parent shortly through the schools.
If you have any queries in relation to the content of this letter please do not hesitate to contact your school.
Head of Education