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Administration and finance

School Attendance Orders

Escalation of actions if parent(s) fail to comply

Before a School Attendance Order (SAO) is issued in Devon, attempts will have already been made to ensure that the child is in receipt of an efficient, full-time education that is suitable to their age and ability, and which has regard to any special educational needs that the child has.
It is expected that parents will have been made aware of the Devon multi-agency early help offer in order to access appropriate family support should they wish to. Access to the multi-agency early help offer should be discussed with a family throughout their journey of support as appropriate.
If an SAO is issued and then complied with, no further action is taken.
However if the parent(s) fail to comply with it, they will be summoned to the Magistrates Court for a possible offence under s443 Education Act 1996 (failure to comply with an SAO).
If the child is still not on roll at the end of the prosecution process, and there is still no evidence of a suitable education being provided, then the SAO process will recommence at the earliest possible opportunity.
At the start of this second process, the parent(s) will receive the first notice (as required by the Education Act), together with a warning that failure to comply on this occasion will result in an enquiry being submitted to social care (Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)) regarding possible neglect.
If ten working days following the issue of the second SAO, the pupil is not on a school roll then the Legal Proceedings Officer will notify the Children Missing Education Officer who will submit a MASH enquiry.
MASH will arrange for an assessment/enquiry (section 17) to be undertaken. This will have one of three outcomes:
Parent puts child on roll (with support from Admissions as appropriate)
The Local Authority check/replace SAO with the name of the school where the pupil is now on roll and no further action is taken.
Social worker will form a view that thresholds are met for escalation within social care
Social worker will work in partnership with education colleagues about how best to ensure education is provided going forward.
That neither of the above criteria has been met
MASH will inform the Legal Proceedings Officer of this outcome. The EWS will be notified and an Education Supervision Order (ESO) will be applied for.
If the parent does not engage with the ESO process (or disengages once it has been put in place) this will be referred back to MASH for further investigation and escalation.
Within the plan submitted during the application for the ESO, the first condition will be that the child is put on roll at a school.