Brighton and Hove parents fined for having truant children

Posted On 17 Aug 2010 at 4:12 pm

Parents in Brighton and Hove have been fined nearly £3,000 in the past year for failing to ensure their children attended school.

The total was announced by Brighton and Hove City Council after the four latest prosecutions.

In the four new cases, parents were fined £1,450 between them.

They are among 29 prosecutions in the 2009-10 academic year.

Their cases – all relating to pupils absent from secondary schools – were heard at Brighton Magistrates´ Court.

In all four cases the parents failed to attend the hearings.

Two parents were fined £525 each and ordered to pay £250 towards the council´s legal costs.

One of them has a child who missed more than four in five lessons – attending only 19.4 per cent – between Monday 1 February and Friday 9 July.

The child of the other missed 13 lessons out of every 20 – attending 35 per cent – between Monday 25 January and Friday 21 May.

A parent whose child attended only one lesson in ten – just 10 per cent – between Monday 1 February and Friday 4 June was fined £400 and ordered to pay £250 costs.  

The fourth parent – whose child attended 77 per cent of lessons from Monday 1 February to Friday 2 July – was granted a conditional discharge for one year.

Councillor Vanessa Brown, the council´s cabinet member for children and young people, said: “Failing to ensure a child attends school is unacceptable and illegal.

“Taking parents to court and imposing fines is a last resort for the council but these are the very small minority of parents who fail to fulfil their moral and legal duties and are unwilling to co-operate with the education welfare service.”

The council said: “Brighton and Hove has a clear attendance strategy and the number of pupils with poor attendance is reducing.

“Pupils who have lots of time away from school will not achieve well in examinations and often find it difficult to get a job.”

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