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Parents fined for kids truancy


11:19am 23rd September 2011

City of York Council yesterday (22nd September 2011) prosecuted the parent of two children, aged eight and 14, who failed to attend school regularly.

York Magistrates Court heard that the younger child, aged eight, who was registered as a pupil at a primary school in the west of the city had failed to attend on 52 out of a possible 138 occasions between February and July, an absence rate of 37%, over eight times worse than the average in City of York Council’s primary schools.

The 14 year old had, over the same period, been absent on 47 out of possible 142 attendances - an absence rate of 33 per cent compared to the local average of just over 6 per cent.

The parent had failed to provide any legitimate reason for much of their absences.

The children’s parent was found guilty of failing to ensure the regular attendance of their children at school (Section 444(1) of the 1996 Education Act) and was given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £50.

Mark Smith, Schools Adviser, City of York Council, said:

“The council only uses the courts as a last resort where attempts to encourage good attendance have failed, but our priority is to protect the interests of the children who are being denied the education to which they are entitled.

“Both children had poor attendance records going back some years and the Local Authority and other agencies had worked to support the parent though throughout that time. However, this is thankfully a rare case, as attendance in our schools is excellent."

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