Prosecution threat prompts parents’ action on truancy

Threatening the parents of persistent truants with prosecution
makes it more likely that they will cooperate with education
welfare services and schools, according to the government.

Feedback from 21 of the 30 local education authorities piloting
a “fast track to prosecution” system suggests that half
of parents threatened with legal action agreed to engage with the
authorities as a result.

Of 1490 parents facing legal action, only 739 cases reached
courts because the rest agreed to work with agencies to improve
their child’s school attendance. However there is no reported
evidence that the policy has actually improved attendance

Under the scheme parents who are deemed to be failing to
co-operate with the school or local education authority in
improving their child’s school attendance are given 12 weeks
(one term) to co-operate, or face prosecution. In four out of five
cases where prosecutions reached court, parents were convicted.

According to other research by the Local Government Association,
quoted by the Department for Education and Skills, 5381 parents
were summonsed to court last year across 93 local education

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