Fewer fines for missing school despite rise in the absence rate

The TES is reporting that despite a rise in the absence rate, fewer fines are being given for missing school.

Fewer fines for poor school attendance were issued last year, reversing six years of rising numbers.

The fall came despite the absence rate in state-funded schools rising from 1.1 per cent to 1.3 per cent, and the rate of unauthorised holiday absences also climbing.

The figures cover the period after the High Court in May 2016 backed a magistrate who ruled that Isle of Wight parent Jon Platt did not have to pay a school fine for an unauthorised term-time holiday.

The statistics also cover some of the period after the Supreme Court in April 2017 reversed this ruling, and unanimously agreed that no children should be taken out of school without good reason and said that “regularly” means “in accordance with the rules prescribed by the school”.

DfE statistics published today show the number of penalty notices issued fell by 5.4 per cent in 2016-17.

The report says: “The number of penalty notices issued has followed a general upward trend from 2009-10 up until 2015-16, rising steeply between 2012-13 and 2014-15.

“Regulations amended in September 2013 state that term time leave may only be granted in exceptional circumstances, and may relate to the sharper increase in penalty notices issued.”

More at: Fewer fines for missing school despite rise in the absence rate

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or via Twitter. – Meena

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  1. John. Bristol

    It is pretty obvious what is happening? Parents aren’t stupid and therefore phone in sick which puts up the authorised absence rate and drops the unauthorised rate and therefore fewer fines. Not rocket science but you are dealing with the D of E and they have many zany views like a day out two off will lower GCSE Grades! Well it didn’t when the 1940 Education Act was in place for about 60 years. Discretion should be given back to the Headteachers as before and common sense comes into play. The changes were all supposed to be about TRUANCY. These absences are not truancy!

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