More than 300 Essex parents have faced conviction for their children's truancy
22nd January 2011
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Over 300 Essex parents have had to go to court due to their children skipping school.

Since September 2007, Essex County Council has brought over 300 parents to prosecution for their children bunking off school.


Government legislation allows local councils to issue parents of truanting children with a £50 fixed penalty fine. If the fine goes unpaid, after 28 days the amount goes up to £100. After 48 days, failure to pay results in a magistrate's court summons.


The most common age for truanting was found to be Year 10 pupils, with 63 parents prosecuted and Year 9 pupils with 46 parents charged. However, the powers have been used against parents of children as young as 5 and 6 in Year 1.


The highest fine incurred was £525 and one parent was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment. 


Council chiefs argue the case of parent prosecutions being needed where parents are engaged in actively encouraging children not to go to school.


However, situations where parents try hard to get their children to school but cannot are dealt with in a more supportive manner.

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