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£60 fine for habitual lateness

11 July 2015 3,400 views No Comment

daily Mail
lateThousands of parents to be hit by £60 school fines if their children are repeatedly late for class
• Councils have issued warnings to parents to be punctual or face penalty
• Fines double to £120 if not paid within 21 days or parents face prosecution
• Almost 500 schools in Hampshire will implement rule from this September
• Council will impose fines if a child is late more than 10 times in one term
Thousands of parents are set to be hit by £60 fines if their children are repeatedly late to school
Schools are to fine parents £60 if pupils are repeatedly late for registration.
The penalty will double if it is not paid within 21 days, and parents who refuse to pay could be prosecuted and even jailed.
One council is deploying so-called late-gate patrols to ask tardy parents why their children are arriving late.
But parents’ groups criticised the move yesterday, and said the fines would ultimately punish the children, not their parents.
Margaret Morrissey, from the campaign group Parents Outloud, said: ‘For some families, the money they will be fined will be very important to them and it will be the children who lose out.’
Heads have been able to fine the parents of regular truants under laws introduced by Labour in 2003, and two years ago the Government axed their discretionary power to allow children up to ten days off during term time. This led to an estimated 64,000 fixed-penalty notices being issued last year.
Now, following fresh guidance, thousands of schools are targeting children who regularly miss registration.
Nearly 500 primary and secondary schools in Hampshire have written to parents warning them that from September, parents will be fined if their children are late for school more than ten times in a term.
In Islington, North London, parents could be fined if their child misses registration 12 times in a six-week period. Poor punctuality could ‘compromise everyone’s learning’ and cause ‘social disruption’, the council said. Government guidance allows school registers to stay open for 30 minutes after the start of the school day, but schools can close them immediately after they are taken.
Valid reasons for being late include a GP or dentist appointment, and heads can use discretion in ‘exceptional circumstances’.
In Southend, Essex, where late-gate patrols have started, one parent who was questioned by a council officer when her child was late, said: ‘Mornings get hectic. I could get up at 4.30am but still be late because right before we leave one of the kids will need the toilet.’
Parentsoutlud say this has been forced on many school if pupils continue to be late for no reason it costs the school and more importantly the child’s education dearly

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