The Education (Penalty Notices) (Wales) Regulations 2013 introduced fixed notice penalties for regular non-attendance at school.
The Welsh Government has required all local authorities to draw up and implement their own Local Codes of Conduct to ensure consistency in the issuing of penalty notices. The code will be implemented in Swansea from January, 2015.
The Welsh Government states that penalty notices are one option among a number of different interventions available to promote better school attendance. The introduction of these regulations is one part of the Welsh Government strategy to support improved school attendance across Wales.
The introduction of these regulations mean that parents may now be fined for their child(ren)’s regular non-attendance at school.
The local code of conduct, which explains how penalty notices will operate, is available on the Swansea Council website http://www.swansea.gov.uk/educationpenalty
On the website the local authority has also provided answers to some frequently asked questions. Parents/carers will also receive explanatory letters and information leaflets from their child’s school in January, 2015.
If any parent has concerns about their child/s attendance, then please speak to staff in school for advice and support.
Attendance is very important to schools. Welsh Government target for attendance is 95% and schools are measured by their attendance and are then placed into groups depending on their percentages.
Pupil attendance is reported every year on reports and recorded year on year to ensure we track and safe guard our pupils carefully.
It is vital we work together to try our best to improve pupil attendance. Below is the leaflet I sent out to families to explain our roles and what parents can do to help.
As you are already aware, we can no longer authorise holidays during term times. We are working very closely with our Penyrheol cluster and have the same Education Welfare Officer, Carly Grancourt, who visits our schools every fortnight and looks at all our registers to monitor ALL pupil attendance. She is there in a supporting role but her job is to monitor and ensure pupils attendance is the best it can be at all times.