Record number of parents convicted over child’s truancy

In Child Education | on January, 08, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

Record number of parents convicted over child’s truancy
News from Telegraph.co.uk:

In contrast in 2001, almost 2,250 were prosecuted and nearly 1,850 found guilty and sentenced. Between 2001 and 2011, a total of 61,367 parents have been convicted and 153 jailed.

When the latest data for last year is released in May, the rising trend is expected to continue.

Figures from the Department for Education suggest that around 43,000 pupils are playing truant from secondary schools in England every day, with pupils from poorer homes far more likely to skip class.

From this academic year, the parents of truanting pupils can be hit with £60 spot fines – rising to £120 if they go unpaid. This compares to £50 under the last government.

Ministers are now considering plans to dock parents’ benefits as an additional punishment.

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: “We know that truancy is a major cause of educational under achievement.

“But going to school is also about the discipline of having to be at a certain place at a certain time and having to get on with other people.

“Parents who don’t exercise their responsibilities are really causing long term, lifelong damage to their children’s potential and life chances. It’s a very serious issue.”

A Department for Education spokesman added: “Poor attendance can have a hugely damaging effect on a child’s education……………. continues on Telegraph.co.uk

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Nursery staff ‘could look after eight children’ says education minister
News from Telegraph.co.uk:

“We also need to think about the balance between the number and quality of staff in our system. It is no coincidence that we have the most restrictive adult-child ratios for young children of comparable European countries as well as the lowest staff salaries.”

Ms Truss said that French crèches “operate with fewer staff who are better qualified and better paid than their English equivalents”.

In France 40 per cent of nursery staff hold a diploma and are paid over £16,000. Each staff member is responsible for up to eight toddlers.

In England staff are typically paid £13,000 and can be responsible for no more than four toddlers, Ms Truss said.

“Our ratios put a cap on the salaries staff can be paid because of onerous requirements on numbers,” Ms Truss said. “If staff are being paid barely more than minimum wage, nurseries struggle to retain and recruit high quality people.”

But campaigners and Tory MPs have warned that parents who looked after their children rather than go to work were being “discriminated against” by Coalition tax policies.

Changes introduced on Monday cut child benefit for 1.1million families where a single earner is paid more than £60,000 a year, including many which have a mother at home looking after the children.

Critics have complained that the interests of 1.2 million parents who choose to stay at h…………… continues on Telegraph.co.uk

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