School fines

When a child can miss school

Children of school age must attend regularly and on time during term time.

Your child can only miss school if:

  • they are too ill
  • the school has authorised the absence

You must get permission from the headteacher if you are planning to take your child out of school during term time.

Your child may be allowed to miss school for:

  • doctor, hospital or dental appointments
  • a death in the family or funeral
  • religious observation

Headteachers can only permit leave for a holiday in term time where there are exceptional circumstances.

If you do not get permission and you take your child out of school, you may get a fine.

How school fines are issued

We may issue parents or carers with a Fixed Penalty Notice if their child is absent from school without permission. This includes:

  • any absence marked in the register as unauthorised
  • arrival at school after the register has been taken
  • a holiday in term-time, which has not been agreed by the headteacher

 The school must have referred the matter to us.

 Fixed Penalty Notices are issued per parent, per child and are an alternative to prosecution.

 The current penalty is:

  • £60, if paid within 21 days
  • £120, if paid between 21 and 28 days

 After 28 days we may prosecute you.

Find out what legal action can be taken on GOV.uk.

Pay a school fine

If you have received an email telling you to pay a school fine, use the link within it to make your payment.

If you have received a letter, you will need your case reference and access code to continue.

Pay a school fine

Read the Fixed Penalty Notice - Code of Conduct.