Posted: Thu 30th Nov 2023

Flintshire headteachers issue 99 fines for persistent unauthorised pupil absences

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Nov 30th, 2023

In a move to address persistent unauthorised absences, headteachers across Flintshire issued 99 fines during the 2022/23 academic year.

The approach is part of a broader strategy to ensure children’s regular attendance at school, a critical factor in their educational and social development.

Records indicate that the Fixed Penalty Notices, ranging from £60 to £120, were utilised under the statutory powers available to headteachers and support services.

The legal tool underscores the importance of regular school attendance and the consequences of failing to adhere to this requirement.

Out of the 99 fines issued, nearly half were settled within the allocated payment timeframe.

The remaining cases, where fines remained unpaid, were escalated to court proceedings by the Education Welfare Service (EWS).

So far, Magistrates Courts have handed down 8 fines of £660 each, reflecting the legal seriousness of continued non-attendance.

Flintshire County Council Senior Learning Advisor, John Grant, said every effort is made to support children and families with poor school attendance. However, when absences remain unauthorised by the school, the EWS policy is to progress all unpaid Fixed Penalty Notices to court.

Cabinet member for Education, Councillor Mared Eastwood, said: “It is encouraging that so many parents/carers accepted that unauthorised absences are not appropriate and paid the fine promptly.

“As a council, we wish to make it clear that it is essential that all parents and carers recognise that school attendance is a legal requirement. Non-attendance not only has a negative impact on a child’s education, it can also have a negative impact on their social skills development and mental health and wellbeing.

“The local authority will continue its policy to ensure unauthorised absence is challenged in 2023/24 to support Flintshire children to have the best possible life chances.”

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