Attendance at school and legal intervention

Research commissioned by the Department for Education shows missing school for even a day can mean a child is less likely to achieve good grades, which can have a damaging effect on their life chances. At Thurton Primary School our aim is to work with parents to ensure that all our pupils receive the most from their education, and reach their full potential.

This letter is to remind to all parents/carers regarding the law that requires them to ensure that their child attends school regularly. The Government remains very clear that no child should miss school apart from in exceptional circumstances and schools must to continue take steps to reduce absence to support children’s attainment.

The Local Authority operates a system where any pupil will meet the criteria for legal intervention where they have:

  1. 10 consecutive sessions of unauthorised absence where some or all of the absence may be attributed to an unauthorised holiday in term-time (for absences from 1 September 2017); or
  2. 15% unauthorised absence over a period of 6 school weeks for reasons other than unauthorised term time holiday.

The intervention could be in the form of a Fixed Penalty Notice. Any pupil at Thurton Primary School who meets either of the criteria, will be referred to the Local Authority for action to be considered.

If a Fixed Penalty Notice is issued, it is a fine of £60 per parent, per child, which must be paid in one payment within 21 days. If unpaid, a further invoice for £60 per parent, per child is issued; both individual invoices would then have to be paid within 28 days, making a total payment of £120 per parent, per child. You should be aware that failure to pay the total amount within the timescale will result in legal action being taken.

Our aim of course is to ensure that the children in our care receive the most from their education and I know we can count on your support in this matter. However, if you still decide to take your children during term time on holiday, a form must be filled in informing the school of the dates. As a Church of England school, we encourage parents/carers to be honest with us regarding holidays in term time.

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


Page updated Jan 2020