Parenting contracts and penalty notices
We may draw up a Parenting Contract or may issue Penalty Notices.
A parenting contract is a formal written agreement between a parent and either the local authority or the governing body of a school. It is voluntary
and a parent cannot be compelled to enter into the contract. There is no obligation for the local authority or governing body to offer a parenting contract in cases of non-attendance.
If intervention and the use of parenting Contracts fail to improved attendance, then we may issue Penalty Notices. Penalty notices will be issued in cases of unauthorised absence or truancy. We may receive requests to issue penalty notices from schools, Thames Valley Police and neighbouring local authorities.
We can also issue School Attendance Orders (SAO) and Education Supervision Orders (ESO). School Attendance Orders may be issued to direct the parent to send their child to a specified school and are used when a pupil is not on roll at any school. We may also apply for an Education Supervision Order before prosecuting parents
Truancy sweeps are an additional strategy to tackle non-attendance. Our sweeps are carried out in partnership with the Police and may coincide with the two national truancy sweeps, which usually take place in the Autumn and Spring terms. Schools have a major role to play in truancy sweeps, as many of those children found by the sweeps will be returned to school. We will notify schools of any scheduled sweeps and advise the schools on having systems in place to handle these pupils and to take appropriate follow up action. Any school that feels a sweep in their neighbourhood may be productive should contact us.
Children in employment & performance
We register children who work in part-time jobs and children who perform in:- films, TV, theatre, modelling and so forth. We work with schools to ensure that the work/performance is not detrimental to the child's welfare and education. Employment permits are required for all working school age children and Licenses for all performing children. We also approve matrons who chaperone children in performance. Find out more about children in employment and performance.