Parents face £120 fines when children are late to school

Fees would be doubled from £60 if not paid within 21 days

Rachael Revesz@RachaelRevesz
Sunday 02 July 2017 13:39
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Schools are clamping down on frequent lateness
Schools are clamping down on frequent lateness

Parents could face fines of up to £120 if their children are repeatedly late for school.

Schools and councils in Essex, Hampshire and the West Midlands are introducing more stringent penalties for families whose children are missing school or who show up late.

Warwickshire County Council said a family whose child often turns up more than 30 minutes after the register was taken could face fines of £60, as reported by The Sunday Times.

Winter Gardens Academy in Essex prompted controversy when it informed parents they would be fined if pupils arrived after 9am.

The fee could rise to £120 if not paid within three weeks.

The primary school was placed on special measures after its most recent Ofsted inspection.

Tom Bennett, a government adviser for behaviour policy, said fines should be a last resort.

He suggested the parents of teenagers who were late for school should consider walking with them.

“Most pupils would rather lose an arm than be seen walking up to school with their parents,” he said.

Schools have been able to fine families whose pupils play truant since the former Labour government introduced the law in 2003.

A former school governor, Eleanor, from Birmingham told LBC Radio that the fines were a “typical example of lack of understanding of what is actually happening in our schools.”

She added: “Many parents and children didn't get the school of their choice, so they're juggling work, they're juggling taking one child to one school and another child to a different school, and simply what with the traffic and everything else.”

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