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Fines for missing school

Education Act 1996

Section 444 of the Education Act 1996 has separate but linked offences; these are:

  • Section 444(1): where a parent fails to secure the child's regular attendance
  • Section 444(1A): where a parent knows that the child is failing to attend school regularly, and fails to ensure the child does so
  • Section 444(ZA): where parents fail to secure the regular attendance of their child at an alternative provision

There are statutory defences for parents to use under the 1996 Act.

The fines available to the courts if parents are found guilty are:

  • Section 444 (1) a level 3 fine of up to £1,000
  • Section 444 (1A) a level 4 fine of up to £2,500 and imprisonment for up to three months

Under Section 103 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 the LA has the power to prosecute parents of pupils found in a public place during school hours after being excluded from school.

  • The fine is a level 3 fine of up to £1,000.