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; therefore, 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 child(ren) on holiday during term time and the school have not authorised the child(ren) to be absent from school, they may be issued with penalty notice. Parents should always seek authorisation from the school before the holiday, giving the reason for the absence.

Penalty notices for holidays are issued for absences of 5 school days or more and 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 wish to make complaint about the issuing of school penalty notice you will need to 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If you consider that a notice has been issued to you in error, you may make representations the school for it to be withdrawn.

The decision as to whether the Penalty Notice is withdrawn or upheld, will be considered by your child’s school.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If the Penalty Notice is withdrawn your school will advise the Local Authority and any legal proceedings will cease.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.