A Cornish mother has been fined £2OO for failing to ensure that her child attends school on a regular basis.

Magistrates at Bodmin were told that the secondary school pupil at Saltash.net School had an attendance rate of just 20.48 per cent. Magistrates also ordered the parent to pay legal costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £20.

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.

“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."