New crackdown on truancy

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The Independent Online

Police are to make more anti-truancy "sweeps" to catch children who should be in school as part of a new crackdown on the problem.

Police are to make more anti-truancy "sweeps" to catch children who should be in school as part of a new crackdown on the problem.

The nationwide initative was announced today by Education Secretary David Blunkett and Home Secretary Jack Straw.

Funding to tackle the truancy problem will ncrease by £43 million to £174 million by 2001-2 - the year that the Government has set as its target to reduce truancy by a third.

Around 50,000 chioldren skip school every year, many doing so with the full knowledge of their parents. The maximum fine for parents who allow youngsters to play truant ia beeing increased from £1,000 to £2,500.

The Home Secretary said: "Getting these young people off the street and back into school is the first step in tackling the causes of crime, both early and head-on."

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