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Procedure for issuing penalty notices for leave of absence during term time

4.2 The Local Authority will only issue penalty notices requested by a school in instances of unauthorised leave of absence where each of the following can be demonstrated:

  • The school have published their attendance policy and/or a newsletter in the current academic year which includes a warning to parents that penalty notices can be issued in instances where a child takes an unauthorised leave of absence.
  • A request for leave of absence was received from the parent. Where a written request has been received, a copy of the application form or letter should be submitted. If a verbal request was received the head teacher should include notes detailing the discussion/meeting with the parent.
  • Written notification/letter to the parent of the head teacher’s/authorised person’s decision to refuse the period of absence including the reasons for the decision and warning the parent a penalty notice will be issued
  • Copy of a letter to the parent advising the matter has been referred to the Warwickshire Attendance Service, copy of a letter from Warwickshire Attendance Service advising the parent the matter has been referred to them and a penalty notice will be issued.
  • Evidence of attendance for the relevant period signed by the head teacher

4.3 The taking of leave of absence during term time without making an advance request for the same to gain the school’s permission and where this has resulted in a period of unauthorised absence will result in action. In such cases, a separate Penalty Notice will be issued for each child in the family. In these circumstances, a warning letter will not be issued. Clear documentary evidence must be provided by the school/academy which demonstrates that the parent/carer made the admission and understood that permission had not been given.

4.4 The Local Authority may receive requests to issue penalty notices from neighbouring LAs and/or the Police. Warwickshire Attendance Service will investigate and action if:

  • The circumstances of the case meet the criteria as specified in this Code of
    Conduct, and
  • All necessary information is provided to Warwickshire Attendance Service in order to establish that an offence under Section 444(1) Education Act 1996 has been committed.
  • The issue of a Penalty Notice would not conflict with other intervention strategies already in place, or other enforcement sanctions already being processed.
  • There is a reasonable expectation that the use of a Penalty Notice would improve attendance.