Today we published local authority data on penalty notices, parenting orders and parenting contracts for unauthorised absence in schools for 2013/14 and 2014/15.
It should be noted that sums collected from these paid penalty notices cannot be calculated consistently across the five years as the government increased the amount of penalty to be paid from £50 to £60 and from £100 to £120, and reduced the timescales for payment from 28 days to 21 days and 42 days to 28 days. These changes came into effect in September 2012 and September 2013 respectively.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
The rules are perfectly clear – children should not be taken out of school without good reason. That is why we have tightened the rules and are supporting schools and local authorities to use their powers to tackle unauthorised absence.
The evidence shows that every extra day of school missed can affect a pupil’s chances of achieving good GCSEs, which has a lasting effect on their life chances – vindicating our strong stance on attendance. A child who is absent also impacts teachers, whose planning of lessons is disrupted by children missing large portions of teaching.
Almost 200,000 fewer pupils are now persistently missing school than in 2010, thanks to the hard work of teachers, who are insisting on improved pupil behaviour and attendance.
Here is the statutory guidance for maintained schools, academies, local authorities and the police.