Parent rebels over truancy fine

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The Independent Online
A mother fined pounds 1,000 for failing to stop her two teenage sons playing truant lodged an appeal yesterday as the boys returned to school for the first time in three months.

Carol Matthews, 36, was ordered to pay the fine, the maximum permitted by the 1993 Education Act, after a court heard that Stephen, 16, and Wayne, 14, had not been to their south London school since October.

Miss Matthews, of Forest Hill, south-east London, had until yesterday to pay the fine or face possible arrest and perhaps even jail, but instead lodged an appeal, Greenwich magistrates court confirmed. The fine was put on hold until after the appeal hearing.

A spokesman for Lewisham council, which took Miss Matthews to court, said: "Her two sons were at school today for the first time since October. This is an excellent first step. The teachers were extremely pleased to see them."