Please see below a letter from the Local Authority regarding the changes to Penalty Notices.
School Standards and Effectiveness Team
As Assistant Director for Education for Peterborough City Council part of my role is to lead the Attendance Service. I am writing to you to clarify the position of myself and my team regarding the outcome of the recent Supreme Court ruling with regard to attendance at schools and academies in our Local Authority.
We are committed to improving rates of attendance in schools and will take appropriate and necessary action to help schools to achieve this. Actions can include issuing Penalty Notices, holding meetings and if necessary presenting the case to a court.
You may be aware of the Supreme Court judgement made on 6 April 2017 with regard to the case 'Isle of Wight Council (Appellant) v Platt (Respondent). The outcome of the case is that it was concluded that in section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996, 'regularly' means 'in accordance with the rules prescribed by the school' and a declaration was made to that effect.
This judgement clearly states that any absence from school which is not exceptional (such as illness), not requested in advance and/or authorised by the Headteacher and is a day that the school has determined as a term date, is not acceptable and is an offence under the Act.
We hope that you, as parents/carers of children, will help schools and support the Local Authority to improve rates of attendance. Every time your child is absent from school they are missing lessons/learning activities which they may not be able to catch up on. They will certainly miss the discussion//dialogue which takes place in the classroom every day. This means that their opportunities to be successful in achieving their aims may be more limited than those whose rate of attendance is consistently high.
You can also assist schools in registering the correct absence code by informing the school every time your child is absent. This can be done by phone, email or by responding to the school when they call you.
Together, you the schools and the Attendance Service can raise attendance and outcomes for all children in Peterborough.
Thank you for your support.
Assistant Director - Education
Peterborough City Council