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If parents fail to send their children to school regularly and that absence from school is unauthorised parents can be prosecuted or may be made liable to a penalty notice for failing to ensure their children attend regularly at a school where they are registered pupils.
The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, Section 23 gives the Local Authority the power to issue Penalty Notices. These may be issued when parents fail to ensure their child attends schools without good reason, as defined by the law.
Fines are set at £100 per parent, per child, per offence. This will be reduced to £50 if the fine is paid within 28 days. If the fine is not paid by the end of a 42 day period parents will be taken to court under section 444 of the Education Act 1996.
In Birmingham, Penalty Notices are used to ensure parents fulfil their parental responsibility in making sure their children go to school. They are issued in accordance with the Birmingham Code of Conduct, which is available from Education Welfare Services.
Education Supervision Order
|A young person can be made the subject of an Education Supervision Order for persistent failure to attend school. This order empowers the supervising officer to make 'reasonable directions'. The Education Supervision Order will be superseded by a Criminal Supervision Order.
In order for an Education Supervision Order to be made, the Education Welfare Service have to show that parents will co-operate with the conditions of the order.
School Attendance Orders
|This order names the school, which the Local Authority requires the young person to attend, in cases where the parent has failed to secure a school place. If the parent does not comply with the order, a fine may be imposed in the Magistrates Court.|
|These orders may be made against parents or guardians to help them address the young person's offending behaviour or failure to attend school. Parents may be obliged to attend counselling or guidance sessions for up to 3 months, or to exercise particular controls over their children. Breach of the order is a criminal offence.|
Anti-Social Behaviour Order
|This order can be applied for by the Police or Local Authority against an individual, aged 10 or over, or several individuals (including a family), whose behaviour is anti-social; ie: causes alarm, distress or harassment to one or more people. The orders are preventative and incorporate the use of prohibitions to prevent further acts. Breaches carry a penalty of up to 5 years imprisonment. Schools, seeing a possible need for this order, should liaise with the Police.|