Targets and Penalty Notices

School targets, projects and special initiatives

The target for Blenheim High School is currently 96% attendance and we will keep parents/carers updated regularly about their child’s attendance rate.

Legal duty

The school has a legal duty to keep accurate registers, to publish its absence figures to parents/carers and to promote good attendance. Parents/carers have a legal duty to make sure that their children attend school in order to receive an education.

Penalty notice

The Education Welfare Service, working in conjunction with Surrey County Council, may issue a Penalty Notice as an alternative to the prosecution of a parent/carer for their child’s unauthorised absence from school and will require the recipient to pay a fixed amount.  The amount payable on issue of a penalty notice is currently £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt of the notice, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days.  If the Penalty Notice is not paid within 28 days, the Local Authority must prosecute the parent/carer for failing to ensure regular school attendance under Section 444 Education Act 1996.

Circumstances when Penalty Notices may be issued

A Penalty Notice may be issued to parents/carers who are failing to secure their child’s regular school attendance and are failing to engage with supportive measures to improve attendance proposed by the school or Education Welfare Officer.

  • Where a child is taken out of school for a holiday or other unauthorised leave during term time for five days or 10 sessions or more within a three months period (this need not be consecutive) without the written consent of the Headteacher, each parent is liable to receive a penalty notice for each child.  In these circumstances, a warning will not need to be given where it can be shown that parents had previously been warned that such absences would not be authorised.
  • Students identified by police and Education Welfare Officers engaged on Truancy Patrols and who have incurred unauthorised absences.
  • The issue of a Penalty Notice will also be considered where attendance has fallen below 90% and there are 7 or more unauthorised absences in any six week period.   Unauthorised absence will include late arrival after the close of registration without good reason.   The lateness will be recorded in accordance with the ‘How we manage lateness’ section of this policy (Section 10).  In such circumstances parents will be sent a formal warning of their liability to receive such a notice before it is issued.

Penalty Notice relating to Exclusions

If a child is excluded from school, Section 103 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 places a duty on parents/carers to ensure that their child is not in a public place without justifiable cause during school hours.  This duty applies to the first five days of each exclusion.  Failure to do so will render the parent/carer liable to a Penalty Notice. (Alternative education provision will be made available from the sixth day of any exclusion.)
With the exception of unauthorised holidays taken in term time, parents will be sent a formal warning of their liability to receive such a notice before it is issued.

Please be aware that as a result of recent amendments to the 2007 regulations the timescales for paying a penalty notice have been reduced. This brings attendance penalty notices into line with other types of penalty notices and allows local authorities to act faster on prosecutions. The timescales written above are consistent with these changes.