£60 fine – for each parent – if child late for school

Penalty-notice system adopted by some primary schools to improve attendance

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Parents in some primary schools are being fined £60 – each – if their child is repeatedly late for lessons.

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The penalty-notice-style fines, which double to £120 if they’re not paid within 21 days, are already being issued by headteachers of at least three primary schools – and the power to fine in this way is now available to any headteacher in England.

The fines are only issued if a child misses registration ten times in one term, and usually after several warning letters, but some critics say the whole idea of fining parents for late attendance is unhelpful.

“Fines could undermine relations between school and parents – the cornerstone of any school’s success,” says Chris McGovern of the Campaign for Real Education.

The official view at Emerson Valley School, the latest school to start issuing fines and one of three primary schools in Milton Keynes who are using their fining powers, was that its tough new stance on lateness would raise standards. “The link between good attendance and pupils achieving well at school is clear, ” a spokesperson said.

What do you think? Should parents be fined if their child is late? And, if so, is it fair to fine each parent, regardless of who takes the child to school? Do let us know your views by leaving a comment below.

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