Increase in fines for parents who don’t send their children to school in Rugby

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WARWICKSHIRE County Council’s Cabinet today (Thursday) agreed a revision to the penalty notices payable by parents who do not ensure their child or children’s attendance at school.

The new penalties come into force for the new academic year and will apply to any parent who fails to ensure that their child attends a state school regularly or, if the child is excluded, that they are not found, without a valid reason, in a public place during school hours.

The notices are statutory under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act of 2003 and the Education and Inspections act of 2006.

The payments are set to increase from £50 to £60 for parents who pay within 28 days, or from £100 to £120 for those who pay within 42 days. Payment means that the parents are not liable for conviction.

The amendment will be made to the county council’s Code of Conduct. Notices will be considered appropriate when input from the Educational Social Work Service has not brought about a return to school as well as special circumstances such as:

· When at least ten sessions (five school days) have been lost due to unauthorised absence in a five week period · Parentally condoned absence · Unauthorised holidays in term time · Unauthorised delayed return from extended holidays · Persistent late arrival at school (after the register has

closed) equivalent to ten sessions in a five week period.

Cllr Heather Timms, portfolio holder for Children, Young People and Families, said: “It is essential that all of our children make the most of the education that is provided. We need parents to play their part in ensuring that their children go to school and the raised penalty notices, in line with national guidelines, will discourage parents from allowing their children not to be at school.

“Schools have a high target for attendance which is essential if they are to complete the curriculum and give children a broad base of learning. Parents need to work with them to achieve this for the benefit of their children.”