Saturday, 16 May 2015

Schools get tough on parents

Joanne Murphy
"A primary school has launched a crackdown on parents who are late to collect their children. Henley Green Primary School in Coventry has threatened to fine parents £6.50 if they are not at the school gates on time."

"The fine is handed to parents who are more than 15 minutes late at the end of the school day, and to those who are more than 10 minutes for morning nursery sessions. And those collecting their two-year-olds from the school's 'Little Acorns' programme are charged £10 if they are 10 minutes late. "

"Parents branded the decision 'disgusting', saying that some parents could not afford to pay the fine and that the school sometimes did not start lessons on time."

"But headteacher Joanne Murphy defended the move, insisting it was necessary to deter a small number of parents who were taking advantage of the staff by regularly arriving late."

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Parents are not allowed to take their children on holiday during school term- time unless there are `exceptional circumstances` but an estranged parent`s ignorance that his children have been taken on holiday is `no excuse.`

"An estranged father who was banned from seeing his children has been prosecuted after their mother took them on holiday in term time."

"Shane Allen branded the justice system a 'joke' after he was convicted of failing to make sure his children went to school, despite being prevented from seeing the youngsters."

"The 44-year-old found himself in court after his ex-partner took their three children on holiday to Scotland when they should have been in lessons. Allen had even been temporarily barred from seeing the youngsters by social services and had been completely unaware that their mother was planning the impromptu holiday, the appeal court heard."

"The rules to prosecute parents were introduced by former education secretary Michael Gove. A parent allowing a child to miss school due to a holiday is known as a strict liability offence."

"The distinguishing feature of this type of crime is that the prosecution is not required to prove the defendant intended the consequences of their actions or even foresaw them. Parents who take their children on term-time breaks risk being hauled before the courts and a criminal record."

"Under the rules introduced in 2013, head teachers are no longer allowed to grant 10 days of holiday during term-time. They can now only allow leave in 'exceptional circumstances,' such as a bereavement."

"Parents who take their children out of school without permission initially face a £60 fine per child. The fine rises to £120 if not paid within 21 days. Those who fail to pay can face prosecution, with a maximum fine if convicted of £2,500 or a jail sentence of up to three months."

Read more:

Treating parents as inadequate or criminal is helping to create a deeper division between generations.


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