Truancy costs parents £75k
Children skipping school have
cost parents more than £75,000 in just one year, according to
figures obtained by KentOnline.
That's a rise of more than 50%
on the previous year.
The amount for 2010 and 2011
comes from 2,499 penalty notices issued by KCC to families whose
children have had more than five days' unauthorised absence in
any one term.
It's a big leap from the
previous year - with the council handing out 850 more fines, worth
The fine is £50, rising to £100
if not paid within 28 days.
In total since 2008-09 £154,310
has been paid by parents whose children haven’t been attending
Reasons for their absences
could be range from birthdays and shopping to taking holidays
without the school's permission.
Parents who don’t pay up face
being taken to court and since 2008 the county council has
successfully prosecuted 2,014 families.
Of those 2,499 fines, nearly
a third of them were given to parents solely for taking their
children out of school to go on holiday during term-time without
Dad-of-two Ian Burrowes, 48,
from Lower Stoke took his children out of primary school for
holidays, but believes parents shouldn’t be fined for it unless
children are deliberately bunking off school.
"Parents have overall control, they are the ones who exert the
authority - you’re asking the teachers to be authoritative when
they’re not at school, it’s down to the parents to make sure kids
are in school.
"If a child is truanting then
you should punish the parent, because the parent has got to
exercise authority on the child - if the child doesn't go to
school, don't fine them - stop the family allowance.
"I have taken my kids out during
term-time, more when they were younger, but I think it’s a bit
excessive fining parents who take their children on
"We did ask the school but
whether they said yes or no we were still going to take them - it's
worth the fine when you compare how much a holiday is in June than
The figures come after the
government recently announced it is looking at proposals to
increase fines for parents of truanting children.
The idea would see the penalty
double if not paid quickly - it would then automatically be taken
out of child benefit payments.
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