Absence thresholds: New £80 fines will hit disadvantaged students hardest

Students in years 9 and 10, disadvantaged young people, and those with SEN are among the groups most likely to receive the new £80 fines for persistent absence.
Image: Adobe Stock

A new analysis shows that if new government thresholds had been implemented in 2022/23, one in five students would have received parental fines.

A national framework for parental fines is being introduced from September with fines of £80 for any student who misses 10 or more half-days within any 10-week period.

An analysis published this week (Bibby & Thomson, 2024) and based on attendance data from almost 10,000 schools considered the number of students who would have broken this new threshold in 2022/23.

The results vary. While 15% of primary pupils broke the threshold in years 3 to 6, the proportion steadily increases from year 7 until it peaks in years 9 and 10 at around 23%.

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