Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 14th February 2019
Title of Item/Report
Local Authority Attendance Policy and Penalty Notice Code of Conduct
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report on the proposed changes to the attendance policy and the penalty notice code of conduct. The changes ensured a consistency in referral processes to support decision making; enable a more timely response and assist schools in managing recent unauthorised absence to prevent entrenched patterns of behaviour developing.


1. Local authority consultation take place with head teachers and chairs of governing bodies on the proposed changes to the attendance policy and Penalty notice code of conduct.

2. In particular the following key changes be noted:

• Retitle the local authority Attendance policy (Appendix 1) as Stockton Council Pupil Attendance and Absence Management procedure.
• The criteria for referral to change from ‘less than 80% attendance during the school year’ to ‘10 unauthorised sessions of absence in the previous eight school weeks’.
• The penalty notice code of conduct (Appendix 2) to change from a three week monitoring period to a four week period.
• The head teacher to be required to state in writing why a request for leave of absence in term time is not deemed as an exceptional circumstance.
• The attendance team to issue a ‘notice of prosecution’ to parents who, after 28 days, have failed to pay the penalty notice.
• Should Cabinet support consultation on these proposals schools leaders and Governors will be consulted through existing forums and in writing during the Spring Term 2019 followed by appropriate training in preparation for introduction from 1st September 2019
Reasons for the Decision
To streamline and increase the impact of the work of the Council and support for schools in addressing unauthorised school absence.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Jim Beall declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 16 - Local Authority Attendance Policy and Penalty Notice Code of Conduct as he was the Chair of Governors at one of the schools detailed within the report.
Details of any Dispensations
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight, 23 February 2019

Date of Publication: 19 February 2019

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