Alert Section

Education Fixed Penalty Notices

For Unauthorised Absence From School

The greater the attendance the greater the achievement

A student who ends the school year on 90% attendance will have missed four complete weeks of school.

90% over 5 years at secondary school equates to half a school year.

  • Red Light - Under 92% - Missing more than 3 weeks of education - A serious loss of learning which is likely to have a detrimental effect on your child’s Achievement and Life Chances.
  • Amber Light - Under 95% - Missing in excess of two weeks of education - Absent from the classroom for up to three weeks and the loss of a significant amount of education.
  • Green Light - 100% - Not missing any lessons during term time - Present for all lessons activities and social time.

When possible please make medical and dental appointments outside of school hours.

The Law

The Education Act 1996 requires parents to ensure their children of compulsory school age receive efficient full-time education.

The law says that parents/carers whose children of compulsory school age are absent from school without good reason are committing an offence.

The Local Education Authority can issue a fixed penalty notice for unauthorised absence.

A fixed penalty notice can be given for a student who has 20 unauthorised absences from school. Persistent lateness will be counted towards unauthorised absences.

If paid within 28 days, the fine is £60. If paid after 28 days, but within 42 days the penalty will be £120. If the penalty is not paid in full by the 43rd day legal action can result.

You need to be aware that, although you may provide a reason for absence, it is the school that decides if the absence is recorded as authorised or unauthorised.

If there are any problems, please contact school immediately.

Attendance Facts

If your child/ren attend school 100% they will be able to make the best of all the opportunities available to them - Children who have very good attendance are more likely to gain 5 or more A*- C GCSEs or equivalent qualifications.

91.1% attendance = missing 17 days of school in one year - Missing 17 days a year also means dropping 1 GCSE grade (on average).

Children with poor attendance are less likely to gain 5 A*- C GCSEs - 82.1% attendance = missing 34 days of school in one year.

Poor attendance will have a serious impact on education, work ethic and life chances.


In total there are 175 non-school days a year. This gives families the opportunity to:

  • Spend time together
  • Go on family visits and days out
  • Go on holiday
  • Go shopping
  • Attend routine appointments

Students are not granted leave of absence unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Any such absences are at the discretion of the Headteacher.

Taking a holiday during term time, seriously affects your child’s attendance and in turn their attainment.

If an unauthorised holiday is taken, this may result in a Fixed Penalty Notice being served.

Attendance should be a priority. If there are any problems please contact school immediately.


Arrangement for payment will be detailed on the penalty notice and the Flintshire County Council website.

Non-payment of a penalty notice will trigger prosecution under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996.

Further details are available in Flintshire County Council’s Local Code of Conduct.

If you fear your child has not attended school, please telephone the school immediately.

If you have ANY concerns about attendance, please do not hesitate to contact school or the Education Welfare Officer for your school.

Education Welfare Officer details for your school can be found in the reception area.

Code of Conduct

Guidance on penalty notices for regular non-attendance at school - Welsh Government

Welsh Statutory Instrument

If you require further information please contact your Headteacher or

The Education Welfare Service,
Flintshire County Council,
County Hall,

Telephone: 01352 704137

For more information about this service submit an enquiry.