Penalty notice code of conduct
The Prosecution Process:
The PACE interview
Should your child’s attendance fail to improve, in spite of help from the school and an education welfare officer, you will be invited to a formal PACE interview held under caution.
Should Cambridgeshire County Council decide to take legal action against you, you will be served with a summons to appear before a magistrate’s court. You will receive a copy of the statement of the education welfare officer and possibly a member of school staff, and any supporting documents ('exhibits').
Should you fail to attend, the court may consider issuing a warrant for your arrest or decide to hear the case in your absence.
The case will be heard by the magistrates. A court usher will be available to help you.
The court clerk will read the charge. You will be asked to plead ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’. Should you plead not guilty, the case will be adjourned to a future date. Should you plead guilty, the case will be heard immediately.
The court will first hear the evidence from the prosecution.
You or your legal representative will then be able to either make the case for the defence (if you have pleaded not guilty), or (if you have pleaded guilty) explain any reasons why your child has not attended school regularly.
The magistrates will then decide how they intend to deal with the case.
Should you have pleaded guilty or be found guilty, the sentencing/disposal options available to the magistrates are:
Education Supervision Order
The court may also direct that the Council considers making an application for an education supervision order. The education welfare officer may also decide on this option as an alternative to prosecution. Applications for education supervision orders are heard in the family court, and if granted you and your child will be directed by the court to co-operate with the Council to ensure that your child attends school regularly.
What happens next?
Regardless of the outcome in court, you will continue to receive support from the education welfare officer and the school to ensure that your child attends school. Should your child return to school and attend regularly, no further legal action will be taken against you.
How we can help
Education welfare officers (EWO) aim to ensure that all children receive an education, contact your child’s school or college if you would like to speak to one. You can also contact education welfare officers direct through locality teams.
Click here for more information.