The dreaded school run is set to get a lot more stressful for families in Staffordshire, after it’s been announced parents could be fined and prosecuted if their children are late.
A crackdown on student lateness by the council could see mums and dads fined £120 if their child persistently arrives at the gates after the first bell rings.
Explaining why they felt the need to enforce stricter measures, a letter sent out to parents of pupuls at Kingsmead School in Hednesford read: ‘These changes have been agreed with local head teachers and have been implemented to help promote and support good attendance to school.
‘Failure to inform the school of a planned absence or provide evidence of an absence that is suspected to be a holiday could result in a fixed penalty notice.
‘It is important to remember it is your responsibility to inform the school of a planned absence. Parents and carers that fail to do this will be required to provide evidence to explain their child’s absence’.
If paid within 21 days, the penalty will be reduced to £60. But if parents refuse to settle up with the school, they could face prosecution.
Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet support member Philip White voiced his opinion on why the new rules have come in during an interview with a newspaper.
‘The Supreme Court judgement is very clear that children should go to school every day, because absence affects their performance and is disruptive for the rest of the class while they’re catching up’, he explained to The Independent.
‘Our guidance reflects this and ensures parents know where they stand, but it’s important to remember the general position remains unchanged: head teachers have the discretion to decide whether the reason for absence is exception or not and if unauthorised by the Head the school reports this to the county council which then processes the penalty notice.’
Do you agree with the new measure or do you think it’s an extreme way to tackle lateness? Let us know in the comments!