Boy, 13, went to school just 12 times in five months

Posted On 23 Apr 2010 at 6:08 pm

A father whose 13-year-old son attended just 12 lessons in five months has been warned he could be jailed.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was fined £200 and ordered to carry out 150 hours community service by Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

The bench heard the child attended six per cent of lessons – 12 days out of 180 between September 7 2009 and February 5 this year.

The man and his partner already have four previous convictions relating to three of their children.

Magistrates faced a dilemma in that the child’s mother suffers from agoraphobia and has not left the house in two years.  The court granted her a conditional discharge for 12 months.

Breach of the conditional discharge could mean a sentence of up to £2,500 and or three months’ imprisonment.

Di Smith, Director of Children’s services, said: “For the few parents that fail to ensure their child attends school this is signal that both the courts and the council will take action.”

Last year both parents received a £75 fine with £175 costs for 14.8 per cent of attendance when the same child was 12 years old. The court also imposed a parenting order on the father

Other convictions included a daughter of 18 who attended 18 per cent of lessons where the court imposed a £50 fine with £50 costs for the father.  The court imposed a £50 fine on the mother.

In 2007 both received a conditional discharge for regular non-attendance of a 15-year-old daughter who attended just 29 per cent of lessons.

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