Increase in Melton parents fined for pupils being absent from school

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Latest news from our schools EMN-200702-164526001
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The number of penalty notices issued to parents in the Melton borough for children being absent from school without permission has more than quadrupled in the last two years.

That is the finding of a new study which reveals that Leicestershire County Council handed out 31 notices to parents in the Melton area in the last year, rising from 28 the year before and just seven in 2017-18.

Councils can fine parents £60 for a pupil’s unauthorised absence with the charge rising to £120 if not paid within 21 days.

County Hall collected £81,600 from issuing such notices across Leicestershire last year, rising by nearly a third from £61,500 in 2017/18.

The proceeds are invested back into the county’s education service.

There were 1,722 fixed penalty notices given to parents across the county in the last year - an increase of more than a quarter on the previous year - with 106 cases ending up in court due to fines not being paid.

Of the notices issued in 2018-19, 1,503 were for unauthorised leave, such as children being taken out of school for a holiday, and 219 were for general absence or truancy.

Leicestershire has a far better record than neighbouring county council areas, however, with Derbyshire raking in £637,879 from issuing 5,425 notices and Nottinghamshire collecting £331,920 from 6,410 fines in 2018-19.

Rutland County Council issued fewer notices to parents last year, down to 120 from 137 for the 12 months before.

The study was carried out by The Knowledge Academy, which submitted freedom of information requests to all unitary authorities, counties and London boroughs for information on penalty notices issued to parents across England.

Go to www.theknowledgeacademy.com/blog/unauthorised-school-absences-have-increased---exclusive-data-reveals/ to read the full report released by the The Knowledge Academy.