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Solihull News: Crackdown on truants; EDUCATION: Sweeps to stop children skipping school.

Byline: By Leda Reynolds

YOUNGSTERS found skipping classes will be swept off the streets and back into school as part of a truancy crackdown.

Solihull Council has teamed up with police to carry out sweeps of the borough looking for pupils who should be in school.

The Solihull-wide drive to net absent pupils has been launched as part of a Government blitz on truancy which is running until Friday, March 23.

The council says children seen walking around without an adult will be quizzed by a council truancy officer and police.

Council chiefs say if the young person is not with an adult, they may be returned to school or home and a letter will then be sent out to the young person's parent or guardian informing them that their child has been stopped outside of school.

If the child is with an adult, then the council's truancy officer and the police will talk to them about the importance of attending school.

As part of the campaign, youngsters have also been invited to design posters about why it is important to go to school.

The best designs will be judged by a panel on Monday, March 22, and the winners will receive a prize and certificate, as well as having their work displayed at local libraries.

Coun Ken Meeson, cabinet member for education, children and young people, said it was vital to underline the importance of going to school.

"Regular attendance at school is vital if our young people are to make the most of the education available to them," he said.

"These sweeps are just one of the methods that we use to reduce school absences and I would urge parents and guardians to play their part by working with us to keep their children in school."
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Mar 13, 2007
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