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Parents face pounds 50 fines when pupils miss school.

Byline: By LIZ HAZELTON liz.hazelton@mrn.co.uk

PARENTS whose children regularly miss school face pounds 50 fines under rules being considered by Coventry City council.

The fixed-penalty notices would rise to pounds 100 after 28 days and could be used to tackle persistent offenders.

Principal education welfare officer Sheila Howe said: "Attendance rates have been improving year on year for the past three years - however, the level of condoned absence remains a problem in both primary and secondary schools.

"The education welfare service works closely and successfully with parents, carers and children when problems arise, offering support and advice."

She added that penalty notices would be used only as a last resort.

When the Antisocial Behaviour Act became law last year, authorities were asked to consider fixed-penalty notices.

Education bosses are now consulting with other organisations and cabinet member for children's services Cllr John Blundell will make a decision on April 20.

The notices would be issued when children had not returned to school after intervention by the education welfare service.

Each pupil could only be issued with two notices per academic year and the city council says it would use the cash from collection and prosecution to cover administration costs. Notices could be issued when:

Five school days or more were lost due to unauthorised absence in any five weeks;

Parents condoned absence from school

Pupils took unauthorised holiday in term time

Pupils delayed return from extended holidays

Pupils were late for school 10 times in any five weeks
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 13, 2005
Words:252
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