70 South Tyneside parents fined after their kids play truant

Empty chairs in the classroom.
Empty chairs in the classroom.

Dozens of parents in South Tyneside faced prosecution for their children skipping school.

Throughout the academic year, 2014 to 2015, a total of 70 parents were convicted in magistrates’ court for failing to secure regular attendance of their children at school.

In addition to this, South Tyneside Borough Council also issues 98 fixed penalty notices to parents for unauthorised absence, truancy, and a further 566 fixed penalty notices for unauthorised holidays.

A South Tyneside Council spokesman said: “We want all of our children and young people to fulfil their potential and attendance at school gives them the best chance of doing that.

“School absence can cause a child’s education to suffer as lessons and extra curricular activities are missed and continuity of work is lost.

“We would urge parents to ensure their children attend school and avoid taking their children out of school during term time.

“Our schools have been very diligent about applying the new rules around holidays in term time. Prevention and early intervention are priorities. We continue to work closely with schools, parents and carers to address the root causes of poor attendance.”

Latest national figures show the number of parents taken to court over their child skipping school is rising, with thousands facing action last year.

In total, 16,430 people in England were prosecuted for failing to ensure that a child went to school in 2014 – equivalent to about 86 cases for each day of the school year.

In 2013, 13,128 people were taken to court.