112 parents went to court for truancy

073678truant   11/9/7  pj (af)''A school pupil plays truant , bunks off school , skiver , truancy'Picture posed by model'PICTURE PAUL JACOBS : 073678-12
073678truant 11/9/7 pj (af)''A school pupil plays truant , bunks off school , skiver , truancy'Picture posed by model'PICTURE PAUL JACOBS : 073678-12

MORE than 100 parents in Broxtowe have been taken to court for letting their children skip school between 2006 and 2010.

The figures, which have been supplied by Nottinghamshire County Council, show that 112 cases against parents were taken successfully through the courts between September 2006 and the end of the academic year in 2010 for their child’s persistent absences.

The numbers, which were obtained by the Eastwood and Kimberley Advertiser through a Freedom of Information request, showed that secondary school pupils were the worst offenders.

Only seven cases were brought against parents of primary school children.

None of the cases resulted in a custodial sentence, but 47 penalty notices were issued. The highest fines imposed by the court were £525 plus £90 costs and £15 victim surcharge.

Fines across the county can range from £20 to £1,000. The average fine is approximately £200.

Under the Education Act, parents can be prosecuted for two offences – one that the child has had regular unauthorised absence from school and the second that requires proof that the parent has knowledge and is the cause of the absence.

Last year, The Department for Education changed the definition of persistent absence in school performance tables from 20 per cent to 15 per cent for absenteeism – the equivalent of having a month off school a year.

A Nottinghamshire County Council spokesman said: “The county council works with schools to identify patterns and target individual pupils with high absence rates.

“The schools have then worked closely with these pupils to improve their attendance through a range of activities.

“Our priority is to get pupils back into school as quickly as possible and ensure that they make the most of the education available to them.”