Below are all the documents you will need for the fixed penalty notice process. If you require any guidance please call the fixed penalty notice advice line on 01603 222499.
Fixed penalty notices in response to Year 11 absence
The DfE has recognised that many schools usually incorporate a period of independent study leave into the summer term for Year 11 pupils as exams approach. However, this year they are asking schools to be mindful that the needs of this cohort will differ and that a period of independent study may not be applicable. They have set out guidance about valuable activities pupils should be engaged in and ask that schools make appropriate judgements on the activities for their own pupils. The legislation that governs compulsory school age has not changed and the DfE are strongly encouraging all schools to maximise opportunities that meet the progression needs of their pupils during this period until the last Friday in June.
We have had feedback from some secondary schools that they are finding it difficult to engage with the parents and carers of some Year 11 pupils and have queried whether they can use fixed penalty notices as an intervention. Whilst this is not an intervention that we have used in previous years to address Year 11 absence at this stage of the academic year, we understand that this has been a challenging and difficult year and you will have offered support to all your families to ensure regular school attendance. We are therefore offering a bespoke response to address Year 11 absence for this year.
Where there are concerns about the attendance of Year 11 pupils that a school has been unable to address through supportive measures, they will be able to warn parents of Year 11 students that continued unauthorised absence will result in the issuing of a fixed penalty notice. We have created the attached warning letter to send to parents. Where attendance does not improve after the issue of this letter and the criteria of at least 9 sessions (4.5 school days) is lost to unauthorised absence by the pupil, schools will be able to refer for a Fixed Penalty Notice in the usual way. We do not see this as an appropriate intervention for cases of entrenched patterns of poor attendance, but rather an efficient tool to remind and focus parents and young people that they still need to attend school regularly until Friday 25 June 2021. Referrals will be accepted until Friday 28 May 2021.