Local Authority Position on Holiday Penalty Notices

8th June 2016

The DFE have advised that they will be reviewing the legislation around irregular attendance and Holiday Penalty Notices in light of the recent High Court outcome in favour of Mr Platt.  Mr Platt won the high court case. The basis of this court outcome was that the bench did not consider Mr Platt’s daughter’s school attendance to be irregular outside of the period of the holiday.  The court took the child’s attendance for the whole of the school year in to consideration when making the decision.

The purpose of this report is to provide information on Sheffield’s approach to issuing Penalty Notices for Unauthorised Leave in Term Time.   These are often referred to as Holiday Penalty Notices. (HPNs).  A copy of the position statement has been circulated to Chairs of Governors and Headteachers.

The statement basically supports the continuation of the current practice of only authorising requests where there are exceptional circumstances.  Schools are encouraged to continue to put cases forward for prosecution, but should apply discretion where the child has otherwise excellent attendance.

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