A Dad Sent to Prison for His Child Not Attending School
A Pembrokeshire man has been jailed for failing to ensure his child was regularly attending school.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was produced under a warrant due to not having attended Court on the previous day. The Dad has been sentenced to two months in prison by Haverfordwest Magistrates after a case was brought before them by Pembrokeshire County Council on Friday 31st August 2018.
He was imprisoned under Section 444(1) (A) of the Education Act 1996 for failing to secure regular attendance at school of a registered pupil.
Haverfordwest Magistrates heard that for the period of the offence between 8th January and 4th July 2018, the child’s attendance was just 1.46 per cent, which means that the child had missed 98 per cent of their education to which they were entitled.
The Staff from the child’s school and the County Council’s Pupil Support Team attempted to contact the parent on 29 separate occasions by home visits or by telephone to offer multi-agency support during the period of the offence, support which the father failed to accept.
This type of offence carries a maximum penalty of three months’ imprisonment and/or a £2,500 fine. On this occasion credit was given for an early guilty plea, although the Court heard from the Probation Service that the defendant had not complied with community sentences for previous, unrelated offences. As a result, a sentence of two months of imprisonment was given, along with a fine of £329.81 costs and a victim surcharge of £115.
Pembrokeshire County Council Says…
Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning Councillor David Lloyd said the Authority doesn’t seek to prosecute parents unless absolutely necessary.
“This is an extreme and very sad case but is nevertheless a reminder of the serious consequences for parents of failing to ensure that children attend school regularly.
“Bringing cases to court is a last resort, as we seek to engage with the parents and provide support as is necessary. But in cases where attendance is low and parents refuse to co-operate with us, we have no alternative but to take the matter to court.”
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