Fixed penalty notice – non-school attendance code of practice

Legal basis for issuing fixed penalty notices for non-school attendance.

Legal basis for issuing fixed penalty notices for non-school attendance

Attending school regularly and on time is a legal requirement and needed for pupils to do well in school.

Section 23 of the Antisocial Behaviour Act 2003 gives power to the following to issue fixed penalty notices:

  • Haringey Council officers
  • headteachers (or deputy and assistant headteachers authorised by them)
  • police

Penalty notices can be issued when a pupil:

  • misses school without permission
  • is found in a public place within the first 5 school days without good reason after being excluded from school


In law, it’s an offence if a:

  • parent does not make sure their child goes to school
  • child is absent from school without permission from the school

Fixed penalty notices (fines) can be issued alongside other methods to make sure children go to school where appropriate. Our education welfare service delivers this for Haringey Council. Details are given in S444 of the Education Act 1996 or S36 of the Children Act 1989.