The mother of a pupil at a Cornish school has been fined £230 for failing to ensure that her child attends school on a regular basis.

Magistrates sitting at Bodmin Magistrates Court on March 24 were told that the Budehaven School pupil had 89 sessions of unauthorised absence out of a possible 190 attendances.

As well as issuing the fine, the magistrates also ordered the parent to pay legal costs of £100 and a victim surcharge of £23.

John Heath, Cornwall Council’s principal education welfare officer, hopes that this sentence will send a clear message to other parents and carers who are failing to fulfil their legal duty to ensure that their children attend school regularly.

“Education welfare officers in Cornwall work closely with schools, parents and pupils to try to sort out attendance issues” he said.

“This may involve arranging home and school visits to discuss the situation. They will try to find out the reasons why the child is not attending school and take steps to try and get the child back into school. This includes offering support or signposting to other agencies.

“Prosecution is a last resort when everything else has failed. Where parents are finally taken to court for school attendance offences they do run the risk of being fined or sent to prison."