Legal Sanctions for Non-Attendance

21st July 2017

Information for Parents from Newcastle City Council's Guidance for Schools on the use of Legal Sanctions for Non-Attendance

We wish to draw your attention to some important, new changes in the way in which schools will be legally sanctioning for non-attendance.

Legal Monitoring

  • A request for legal monitoring will be submitted to the Local Authority when a pupil’s attendance falls below 90% with 10 sessions (5 days) of unauthorised absences over a period of 10 weeks.  If a parent fails a legal monitoring period, a fine between £60 and £220 will be incurred.  If a case goes to court, the fine will be determined by a judge and therefore may be higher.
  • Where a pupil has 10 sessions (5 days) of holiday absence over a 12 week period, the Local Authority will issue an immediate penalty notice of £60.  If unpaid this fine increases to £120.  In some instances, the case can be taken to court and the penalty decided on by the judge.  It is important to note that 10 sessions of holiday absence does not have to be consecutive.

Unauthorised Absences

  • Schools cannot authorise term time holidays.  These will be classed as unauthorised absences. Holiday forms must still be completed
  • Where parents have not made contact to the school regarding a genuine reason for absence, this will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.
  • Where parents make contact with the school but the reason does not fall within the agreed authorised absences of the school’s attendance policy, this will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.

 Unauthorised Absences for lateness

  • When a pupil is late before the register closes (before 9.15am) they will receive a late mark. 
  • When a pupil is late after the register closes (after 9.15am), the entire morning session will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.  10 sessions of unauthorised lates, with attendance below 90%, will be referred to the Local Authority for legal monitoring.  If a parent fails a legal monitoring period, a fine between £60 and £220 will be incurred.