Attendance at School

Education Fixed Penalty Notices

Parents are legally responsible for ensuring that their children regularly attend the school at which they are registered. 

Unfortunately, some children fail to attend school regularly. The Local Authority has a number of legal powers, under Section 23 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 to address this issue. The Act allows the authority to issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to parents whose children fail to attend school regularly

The Education Welfare Service is responsible for deciding when a Fixed Penalty Notice shall be issued.  They will make this decision in consultation with schools and, when appropriate, other agencies, such as the police.

A Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued when:

  • A pupil is taken out of school during term time for a holiday which has not been authorised by the school;
  • A truancy patrol carried out by the Education Welfare Service has found a pupil absent from school and the absence has not been authorised by the school;

  • A child’s school attendance has been poor and his/her school believe that the issuing of a Fixed Penalty Notice may lead to an improvement in the child’s attendance (for example, when a child is persistently late for school and his/her parents fail to address the situation).

When a Fixed Penalty Notice is issued it is issued per child - per parent basis. This means that if a mother and father have two children and take both children out of school without permission they may be issued with a total of four Fixed Penalty Notices - one to each parent for each child.

Further information can be found by clicking the links below:


Further information regarding school attendance regulations can be found on the Department for Education's (DfE) website at the following link: