School penalty notice

The Education Welfare Service receive referrals from schools in relation to pupil school attendance. Schools make the decision whether to authorise absences or not. And so, any queries regarding absences should be discussed with the school.

 Penalty notices are issued for -

  • unauthorised attendance
  • holidays during term time

Absence due to holidays taken during school term

If parent takes their children on holiday during term time, they may be issued with a penalty notice. This is if the school has not authorised the children to be absent. Parents should always seek authorisation from the school before the holiday. They need to give the reason for the absence.

Penalty notices for holidays are issued for absences of 5 school days or more. The penalty notice is issued for the duration of the holiday. Penalty notices are £60 per child, per parent. If the penalty notice is not paid within 21 days of being issued, it will increase to £120.

Absences due to medical reason

If your child is absent from school for medical reason, it is important that you provide the school with medical evidence to cover the absence.

This can be copies of -

  • prescriptions
  • letters from GP or other medical professionals

Complaints about the issuing of school penalty notice

The Education Welfare Service does not deal with complaints about schools. If you want to make a complaint about the issuing of school penalty notice, speak directly to the school.

There is no statutory right of appeal to this Penalty Notice.

If you consider that a notice has been issued to you in error, you may make representations the school for it to be withdrawn.

The decision on whether the Penalty Notice is withdrawn or upheld will be considered by your child’s school. Evidence to support your request should be discussed with the school.

If the Penalty Notice is withdrawn, your school will advise the Local Authority. Any legal proceedings will cease. If the Penalty Notice is upheld and you fail to pay, you may be prosecuted for failing to ensure your child’s attendance at school.