Wednesday, 9 September 2015
Parents threatened with jail
"A couple with nine children said they were threatened with potential jail sentences if their children took even a half-day off sick from school."
"Tracy and Paul Foster claimed they were told to "drag" their offspring into class and they were being "persecuted" for having a big family."
"They said the jail warning – allegedly issued by Walsall Council over a school attendance wrangle – had left their kids terrified the pair could be carted off to prison."
"Housewife Tracy, aged 44, said: "We are being persecuted because we have a large family, which makes the children more susceptible to falling ill."
"It’s like a domino effect – when one of them gets something they all get it."
"Now we’re being told that, if they take as much as half a day off in the next academic year, we will be taken to court. The council says if they are ill we should drag them in and the school will decide whether they are well enough to stay or ill enough to go home."
"The couple, from Great Barr, were summoned by Walsall Council chiefs to an education attendance panel in June..."
"The pair said they were threatened with prosecution – and potential prison of up to three months – unless the absence rate improved."
"Tracy said the council insisted Lenny and Faith attended the panel meeting but they were left "frightened to death" after hearing their parents could be jailed."
"It’s one thing to tell us but to say it in front of the children and scare them silly is shameful," she added...
"Barr Beacon is run by “superhead” Dame Maureen Brennan who was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct in 2012 over altering school registers at Hillcrest School and Community College in Dudley."