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Referrals to MECES for unauthorised leave of absence

Page last updated: 14/08/2018

​Penalty notices can be issued to parents who remove their child for the purpose of a holiday during term time. The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 (Section 23) provides the power to local authorities to issue penalty notices to parents of truants and the DfE expects all authorities to use these powers as a tool to improve school attendance.  A Steering Group, consisting of representatives from Essex Headteachers Associations, Governors Association, the Police and the Missing Education and Child Employment Service (formerly Education Welfare Service) regularly reviews the Code of Conduct for Penalty Notices. 

The Isle of Wight v Platt Supreme Court Judgement decreed the word ‘regularly’ to mean ‘in accordance with the rules prescribed by the school’, it is extremely important that every school is clear regarding their expectation that children attend school every day that they are required to do so and this expectation is reflected in all school literature. The press summary and full Supreme Court Judgement​ is available.​​