Brighton and Hove mothers fined over children missing school

Posted On 28 Jan 2011 at 12:42 pm

Parents in Brighton and Hove were fined yesterday for failing to ensure their children regularly attend school including one who attended less than one in every three classes.

Two cases were heard at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

In the first case a 15-year-old attended just 32 per cent of lessons between 14 June and 5 November.

Despite two home visits and four letters from the Brighton and Hove City Council educational welfare team, magistrates heard that attendance failed to improve with the current academic year’s attendance standing at just 30 per cent.

In the second case a 15-year-old attended over half of lessons between 5 July and 10 December at 57.7 per cent attendance.

The parent received one home visit and three letters from the council but attendance failed to improve with the rate for this academic year deteriorating to 53 per cent of all lessons.

The parents – both mothers – were prosecuted at under Section 444 of the Education Act.

Neither of the parents appeared in court or were represented.

After magistrates heard the facts of both cases, they fined both sets of parents £350 with £250 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Councillor Vanessa Brown, the council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said: “This is a clear message to the very few parents who fail to ensure that their children regularly attend school.

“The courts and the council will take action and will prosecute any parent who continually fails to fulfil their legal responsibility to ensure their child is in attendance.

“Every lesson counts for children and we want parents to know that this is a serious issue and they must co-operate with the education welfare system.”

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