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Suspended sentence for mother after child fails to go to school
Updated 9:46am Tuesday 15th April 2014 in News
A mother from Roche has been handed an 81 day suspended prison sentence for failing to ensure her child went to school.
The court was told on Friday, 11 April that the woman's 13-year-old daughter had a history of non attendance, with 114 unauthorised absences recorded out of a possible 116 sessions between September 9 and December 6.
The last time she had attended Poltair School was July 16, 2013.
The parent had been given a two year conditional discharge by magistrates in Truro in February 2012 after pleading guilty to failing to comply with a 'School Attendance Order'.
The parent has also failed to attend meetings with representatives of the council’s Education Welfare Service or respond to any communication.
As well as the suspended prison sentence the parent was also ordered to pay costs of £200 and a £80 victim surcharge.
John Heath, the council’s principal education welfare officer, said he 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.
“Most parents send their children to school regularly. It is crucial that we engage parents in ensuring their children go to school. As a Local Authority we are committed to raising attendance and tackling truancy. Attendance levels in Cornwall continue to improve year on year.”
“Education Welfare Officers in Cornwall work closely with schools, parents and pupils to try to sort out attendance issues” he added “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 “
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