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Evening Chronicle comment.

Name the parents of truants - What the hell is going on?

While other councils across the country have a policy of naming and shaming parents who fail to ensure their kids go to school, North Tyneside Council has decided to gag the Chronicle from revealing the identities of parents whose skiving children have landed them before the courts.

We fail to see why the council, backed by magistrates, is protecting the identities of parents who have admitted failing to ensure their offspring receive an education.

First and foremost, it is the parents who must take responsibility for ensuring their children attend school. If they fail, they must accept the consequences.

The Chronicle has already put its weight behind Newcastle City Council's campaign to tackle truancy after it was revealed seven out of 10 skivers were found to be with their parents when missing school.

The campaign has the backing of the legal system, with parents now facing fines of up to pounds 2,500 or three months in jail. But what's the point of this tough new stance if councils like North Tyneside decide not to name and shame the parents?

Last year, more than 300 parents appeared in court after their children were caught skipping school, and the figures give an indication of the extent of the problem.

Parents have a vital role to play in ensuring their kids attend school and if they fail they should face being named and shamed.

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Title Annotation:News Local
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 1, 2003
Words:252
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