School absence fines to rise by £20 for Parent / Carers in England
Parent / carers are being cautioned to be aware of increased fines for unauthorised school absences.
Parent / carers in England who take their children out of classes without permission will face higher fines as part of an initiative to increase school attendance.
The initiative follows a drop in attendance since the pandemic and an increase in homeschooling.
The Department for Education (DfE) has said a fine must be considered if a child misses five days of school because of unauthorised absence.
School absence fines currently start at £60, rising to £120 if they are not paid within 21 days. But the DfE has said fines will now start at £80, rising to £160.
More information on this is available at BBC News here
Government to ban mobile phone use in schools
Mobile phones are to be banned in schools across England as part of the government’s plan to minimise disruption and improve behaviour in classrooms.
New guidance on mobile phones in schools (issued on 19 February 2024) supports headteachers in forbidding the use of mobile phones during the school day, including at break times.
According to Ofcom, at the age of 12, 97% of children have their own mobile phone. However, using mobile phones in schools can lead to online bullying, distraction and classroom disruption which, in turn, can lead to lost learning and potentially, exclusions.
Tribute to a Former CEN Advocate
It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of our former colleague, Jonathan Bob-Amara who supported CEN for many years, both as a volunteer advocate and as a member of the CEN team.
Jonathan was held in dear affection by many of the parents and families who he helped over the years, some of whom still ask for him when they contact CEN for additional support.
As a colleague, Jonathan was well-liked, very supportive to other team members as well as volunteers and a great team player, known for being a sympathetic ear to parents using the service.
We hope that you will join CEN in sending Jonathan’s family our deepest condolences and very best wishes.