Parents face tougher action over truancy

PARENTS who let their children miss school are facing tougher action from council officials.

A number have been handed fines in court as a result of their child’s poor attendance.

North Tyneside Council officials say court action is only taken as a last resort when parents have been unwilling to work with the school and local authority to improve their child’s attendance.

This month, three parents were fined £350 each and ordered to pay costs totalling £175 each.

Another was fined £65, with a further £65 payable in costs, while also being issued with a parenting order.

Coun David Lilly, cabinet member for children, young people and learning, said: “We are committed to ensuring that our children and young people can achieve their full potential, and regular attendance at school is an important part of this.

“Persistent truancy can have a significant negative impact on a child’s future life chances.

“This is why we are willing to take this tough stance with parents who fail to work with us to improve their child’s attendance at school.”

As part of the borough’s strategy to tackle absenteeism and truancy, the council’s attendance and education welfare service works closely with schools.

Schools aim to tackle attendance problems as soon as they become apparent, which involves working with parents and specifying improvements needed over a set time period.

Where parents refuse to help improve their child’s attendance, and as a last resort, prosecution proceedings may be initiated.