in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge warned of truancy fines
in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge have this week been warned they
face hefty fines and even prison terms if they allow their children
not to attend school.
the start of the new school year, Somerset County Council has
urged parents and guardians to ensure children turn up at school
or they could face fines of up to £2,500 and up to three
months in prison.
council's Frances Nicholson told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "It
is regrettable that in some cases further action has become necessary,
but I entirely support officers in their efforts to get all children
our children are to get the education and qualifications they
need to compete in the job market, set up their own business,
or go on to higher education, they need to turn up for school."
rate of persistently truant children is 6.2 per cent, with an
England average of 6.1 per cent, while the South West's average
is 5.8 per cent.
a week of sweeps carried out in Somerset in April this year by
the County Council's Education Attendance Officers, with support
from Avon and Somerset Police, 118 children were stopped in the
street or found at home and legal action was successfully taken
against 14 parents.
warning notice is initially sent to parents explaining the extent
of the childs absence and the possibility of a penalty notice
being imposed for continued absence. For further absence, a penalty
notice with a fine is then issued and failure to pay the penalty
notice results in the Council being obliged to prosecute the parents
or guardians for the offence of failing to ensure a child attends