Parents to be fined and threatened with jail if their child is late to school
Parents will be fined £120 and taken to court if their child is late more than 10 times in a term, a county schools board has revealed.
Staffordshire parents will be fined £120 per child meaning families who are used to running late could end up paying thousands of pounds.
Lateness is a reportedly problem within Staffordshire schools and the previous punishment of being fined after 20 unauthorised absences has not worked.
A letter sent to parents at Kingsmead School in Hednesford said: ‘These changes have been agreed with local head teachers and have been implemented to help promote and support good attendance to school.
‘Failure to inform the school of a planned absence or provide evidence of an absence that is suspected to be a holiday could result in a fixed penalty notice.’
It added: ‘It is important to remember it is your responsibility to inform the school of a planned absence. Parents and carers that fail to do this will be required to provide evidence to explain their child’s absence’.
The council’s head of education, Paul Senior, said: ‘Previously a pupil had to achieve 20 unauthorised late marks before a penalty-notice warning could be issued.
‘This has now changed to ten marks and late marks do not have to be one after the other for the penalty notice to be issued.
‘You are therefore encouraged where possible to ensure your child attends school on time.’
The new regime starts when pupils return from the Christmas holidays.
The council has taken 184 parents to court in the last two years and collected a total of £102,080 in fines.
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