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Excessive Leave - Pilot scheme

Important Changes to Attendance procedures for taking Holidays/Absences during  term time 



Lancashire County Council are currently reviewing the arrangements for pupils who are absent from school due to unauthorised leave/holidays. 


There is no automatic entitlement to take any leave in term time and taking absences MUST be avoided.


Ribbleton Avenue Methodist Junior School uses penalty notices when pupils are absent from school without permission, including unauthorised leave/holidays, in accordance with our school attendance policy.


When penalty notices are issued, parents have the opportunity to discharge liability for an offence under S444 of the Education Act instead of being prosecuted by the Local Authority.  The penalty notice regulations determine the amount of the penalty notice fine. Unfortunately, some parents are choosing to  remove their children from school for longer periods, as the fine amount is the same regardless of the number of school days missed.


From 19th February 2024, the following rules will apply:

  • Unauthorised leave less than 15 school days: penalty notice will be issued.
  • Unauthorised leave of 15 school days or more: the Local Authority will review any requests for penalty notices and may prosecute parents and not offer the opportunity to pay a penalty notice fine instead.


Where enough notice is given for a warning letter to be issued, and a request made is for 3 weeks (15 school days) or more out of school, the Local Authority may issue you with a warning explaining that you will not have the opportunity to pay a fine and that you will be prosecuted if the leave is still taken. Even if the authority doesn’t send you a warning letter, you can still be prosecuted for the offence as there is no legal entitlement to a warning or a penalty notice.


Failure to ensure your child’s regular attendance at school is a criminal offence, and this means that if you are convicted, this could result in a fine of up to £2,500 and you will have a criminal record.

"Absences add up! Missing just three days a month means a child misses 15% of the school year. ATTENDANCE COUNTS!"