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Education Penalty Notices were introduced under Sections 444A and 444B of the Education Act 1996 (introduced by Section 23 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003) as an alternative to prosecution under Section 444. Parents/carers may discharge potential liability for conviction for an offence under Section 444 by paying a penalty.
They are mainly used as a measure to address attendance problems at an early stage before they become entrenched, and can be used as a response to unauthorised absences, including unauthorised term time holidays or persistent lateness (after the school register has closed) which then becomes an unauthorised absence. The purpose of a Fixed Penalty Notice is to improve school attendance.