Fixed penalty notices - code of conduct

Action by the police

Before issuing a penalty notice yourself or approaching the LA to issue the same it is important to ensure that evidence is available to support the fixed term notice. This will often require the school and the police sharing information and working together.

Where a pupil is found in a public place when they should be in school or during a period of exclusion, enquiries should be made to ensure in terms of a fixed penalty notice for failure to attend regularly at school under section 444(A) EA 1996 that:

  • the pupil's absence on the day they are found in public by the police taken with other absences over a six-week period gives an unauthorised absence rate of 15% or above
  • the school do not already have actions in place aimed at addressing the non-school attendance of the pupil where the issue of a fixed penalty notice would be counterproductive or inappropriate. This could be for example if the matter is already being referred to the LA for prosecution

If a child is in a public place during a period of exclusion it will need to be verified with the school:

  • that the child was found in a public place during school hours in the first five days of that exclusion and
  • that the appropriate Formal Warning letter was served on the parents at the time the exclusion was imposed

Consideration should also be given to calling at the pupil's home address to ascertain whether a parent is at home in a supervisory capacity and to make them aware that the child has been found in public when either the child should have been in school or during the first five days of an exclusion.