“Is the decision to issue a fixed penalty notice to parents/carers for unauthorised absence from school undertaken by the Headteacher or Devon LEA?”
In accordance with legislation, Devon County Council has a School Absence Penalty Notices Code of Conduct which governs the use of penalty notices within the authority area. The Code of Conduct was approved by elected members following appropriate consultation with Headteachers, Governors and the Police as required by regulations. The Department for Education have previously advised that penalty notices must be issued in a consistent manner and this is achieved in Devon by complying with the terms of the Code of Conduct. Therefore when a school notifies the Local Authority of a period of absence and the circumstances comply with the conditions within the Code of Conduct, then Devon County Council will normally automatically proceed with issuing a penalty notice.
Further information about School Absence Penalty Notices can be found on our website.
“Under the Education Act (1996) is the LEA permitted to retrospectively apply a fixed penalty notice for unauthorised absence if a child is no longer in state education?”
A penalty notice can be issued in any case when the circumstances comply with the local Code of Conduct and whether or not the child is still in state education is not a factor.