Attendance at school and legal intervention

The important legal information

The Local Authority operates a system where any pupil with at least 9 sessions (4.5 school days) of unauthorised absence within 6 school weeks meets the criteria for legal intervention. The intervention could be in the form of a fixed penalty notice. Any pupil at Thurton CE Primary School who meets that criteria, will be referred to the Local Authority for action to be considered.

If issued, the penalty notice is £60 when paid within the 21 days, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. When penalty notices are issued, each parent will receive one per child. Therefore, each parent could receive multiple notices if they have more than one child who has been absent. Failure to pay the total amount within the timescale will result in legal action being taken.

There is no right of appeal against a fixed penalty notice.

In some circumstances, the Norfolk County Council Attendance Team may choose not to issue a penalty notice and may instead choose to prosecute a parent under the Education Act 1996 S444.

Requests for leave of absence

The DfE advises all schools that they should only grant a leave of absence during term time in exceptional circumstances, considering each request on a case-by-case basis. If a leave of absence is granted, it is for the head teacher to determine the length of the time the pupil can be away from school. Although we recognise the value and benefits of family holidays, it is unlikely a leave of absence will be granted for a family holiday during term time as they would not typically be seen as an exceptional circumstance.

If the school does not receive a request for leave, we will be unable to consider your individual circumstances and the absence will be recorded as unauthorised. Head teachers are not obligated to reconsider authorising leave if an application was not made in advance.

If your child needs to be absent from school, please speak to the Headteacher initially, and then complete an Absence Request Form.


Page updated Sept 2023