Parents face truancy charges

THE parents of 17 truant children from the Great Yarmouth area are due to appear before the town's magistrates today charged with failing to send their children to school.

THE parents of 17 truant children from the Great Yarmouth area are due to appear before the town's magistrates today charged with failing to send their children to school.

The prosecutions involve truancy at nine schools in the borough.

The hearings are part of a Norfolk County Council ongoing clampdown of truancy in the Yarmouth area.

Since September eastern area educational officials have intervened 435 times to try and improve individual pupil's attendance.

Education officials have issued warning letters to parents regarding 204 pupils' attendance

A further 118 final warnings have been issued and 57 prosecutions have been brought.

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Another 64 parents have been warned that they are at risk of a fixed penalty notice regarding their children's absences with 16 penalty notices being issued.

Parenting contracts have been agreed with parents of a further 167 children.

Shelagh Hutson, county council cabinet member for children's services, said: “Regular attendance is absolutely vital for all children who are registered at school as every lesson and every day missed will make a difference to a child's education.

“Reducing absence is a priority for us and is linked with our ambition to create aspirational young people with high levels of achievement.

“Children and their parents need to recognise the importance of education and realise that they can achieve success if they engage in learning.

“It is not only academic work that children miss out on but the social aspects of school life, which can affect children's ability to make and keep friendships.

“Parents who have children registered at school have a legal duty to make sure they attend and we would urge them to support both the county council and Norfolk's schools in promoting the value of education.”