The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 increased the current amounts of penalty notices payable by parents from 1 September 2012.

These will apply to any parent who fails to ensure the regular attendance of their child of compulsory school age (5-16) who is registered at a state school or fails to ensure that their excluded child is not found in a public place during schools hours without a justifiable reason. 

The amounts stated on the penalty notices will increase from £50 to £60 for those who pay within 28 days; and from £100 to £120 for those who pay within 42 days.

Who is authorised to issue penalty notices?

A police constable, local authority officer, headteachers and those authorised by them (deputy and assistant head only).

All state schools can use penalty notices including maintained, academies, Free Schools, alternative provision and pupil referral units in England. The local authority must publish a local code of conduct which sets out how the penalty notice scheme will work for all schools in the area.

Revised regulations are now available and we will issue revised guidance shortly.

Legislative Background

Education-related penalty notices were introduced by the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 which amended section 444 of the Education Act 1996 to allow parents to be issued with a penalty where they failed to ensure their child of compulsory school age (5-16) and school registered, regular attendance.

Section 103 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 also requires parents of excluded pupils to ensure that their child is not found present in a public place during school hours in the first five days of their exclusion from school without a justifiable reason.

If parents fail in their duties they commit an offence either under section 444A of the Education Act 1996 or section 103 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 and can be served with a penalty notice by an authorised officer. Full payment of the penalty discharges the parent from liability for conviction following a prosecution.