The BBC is reporting that a council which has fined parents a total of just 16 times for taking children out of school without permission has been accused of “going soft” as unauthorised absences increased by nearly 20% in one year.
Cornwall Council issued the fines since the absence policy changed in 2013… Devon County Council fined parents 1,600 times in the same period…Cornwall Council said 50,471 days were lost to unauthorised absence in 2012/2013 compared to 59,858 in 2013/2014.
Unauthorised absence figures for Devon County Council were not obtained.
- Cornwall Council – parents fined 16 times since 2013
- Devon County Council – parents fined 1,600 times since 2013
- Torbay Council – parents fined 988 times since 2013
- Plymouth City Council – yet to respond
Source: Freedom of Information responses
Chris McGovern, chair of Campaign For Real Education, said it appeared Cornwall Council was “going soft”.
However, he said, it was better to persuade parents to not go on holiday during term times rather than fining them which caused “antagonism”.
“The passport to the future is more important than a passport to Mallorca,” he added…
Andrew Wallis, portfolio holder for children and young people for Cornwall Council, said: “There are better ways of making children go to school, rather than using the sledge-hammer approach.
“If there’s long term non-attendance we will take it through the court, we’re certainly not letting anyone get away with it.”…
Do you applaud the apparent position being taken by Cornwall Council here, or does the rise in unauthorised absences suggest all is not well (generally unauthorised absence rates seem to be stable across the country)?
Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…
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