Attendance Penalty Notices

Last modified 17/09/2016 15:50

The following information is for all parents & carers in our school.


Penalty notice statement for school to include in their attendance policies and websites.

The Welsh Government (WG) Education (Penalty Notice)(Wales) Regulations 2013 states that Local Authorities (LA’s) are required by law to adhere to the Education Act 1996 section 444 to include penalty notices as one of the interventions to promote better school attendance.


Sections 444A and 444B of the Education Act 1996 provide that certain cases of unauthorised absences can be dealt with by way of a penalty notice. A penalty notice is a fine of up to £120 and may be issued to a parent / carer as a result of a child’s regular non-attendance at school / educational provision.


The school adheres to the code of conduct for penalty notices as issued by ERW and agreed by the Local Authority, and therefore may request the local authority to issue a penalty notice in certain cases.

Leaflet Information

Code of Conduct



Briefing Note:          Penalty Notices for regular non-attendance at school



The Education (Penalty Notices) (Wales) Regulations 2013 introduced fixed notice penalties for regular non-attendance at school.  Welsh Government has required all Local Authorities to draw up and implement their own Local  Codes of Conduct to ensure consistency in the issuing of Penalty Notices.



Welsh Government states that Penalty Notices are one option among a number of different interventions available to promote better school attendance, thus the introduction of these Regulations is one element of Welsh Government strategy to support improved school attendance across Wales.



Swansea has worked with partner authorities within the ERW Regional Partnership to develop a common Code of Conduct and accompanying documentation to support the implementation of the Regulations.



The Draft Code of Conduct has formed the basis of consultation undertaken between the 4th and 28th November 2014.  An Equalities Impact Assessment has also been completed. 



The expectation of Welsh Government was that all Local Authorities would have their Codes of Conduct in place by September 2014.  The process of joint working within the Regional Consortium has resulted in some delays in production, but the advantage is that approaches and implementation should be consistent across borders within the Region.



The Regulations enable the issue of Penalty Notices which incur a fine of £60 (rising to £120 if paid after 28 days, but within 42 days).  Criteria for issue are at least 10 sessions (five school days) of unauthorised absence during the current term, contingent with overall attendance falling below 90% in the school year to date.  Penalty Notices may also be issued for persistent late arrival at school i.e. after the register has closed (at least 10 sessions), in conjunction with attendance falling below 90% within the current school year.



Holidays in term time may result in the issue a Penalty Notice, if the holiday is not authorised by the Headteacher.  Welsh Government Regulations give Headteachers discretion to determine whether or not to authorise holidays in term time.



Requests for Penalty Notices will be issued by schools with the processing being undertaken by the Education Welfare Service. 



The Regulations allow any potential fine income to be held to off-set against costs incurred in bringing proceedings.  Any surplus income must be remitted back to Welsh Government.  At this stage estimates of likely income lack an evidence base.  However, Bristol, a similar sized Authority which already implements Penalty Notice procedures, issued approximately 1,000 in the last year. 



Parents who do not pay the fine may be liable to prosecution under the Education Act 1996 for ‘Failure to attend school’, not for non-payment of the Penalty Notice fine.