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Mother fined after girl is absent from school.

A MOTHER has been fined more than pounds 400 for allowing her daughter to play truant from school.

She was convicted at Llanelli Magistrates Court in her absence of an offence under the Education Act 1996.

The court heard the girl was absent from school for more than three quarters of term time.

Magistrates were told an education welfare officer had tried on numerous occasions to engage with the family but the attempts were in vain.

A final warning was given informing her parent of court proceedings unless there was an improvement in attendance.

The mother, who lives in Llanelli, cannot be named, to prevent the identification of her daughter.

In her absence, the mother was fined pounds 435 and ordered to pay pounds 100 prosecution costs.

Carmarthenshire council's senior education welfare officer, Avril Jones, said afterwards: "We prefer to work with families to get children to attend school regularly and we only prosecute as a last resort."

The council's education executive board member,Gwynne Wooldridge, added: "There is a huge amount of support available to parents and we do explore all options before resorting to prosecution.

"But we need to make sure pupils are in school. Their education is being damaged if they are absent.

"If parents refuse to respond to help we have no option other than to prosecute and we will not hesitate to do so."
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Title Annotation:News; Front Page
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 24, 2010
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