96% attendance rate but still fined for truancy

A MOTHER who was advised by her daughter’s primary school: “Just drag her to school” pled guilty for failing to make sure her child attends school regularly.

The court heard that there had been a six-year battle to get her daughter to attend school.

Education officers from Thurrock Council informed Grays magistrates court that between 8th February and 25th June 2010, the girl had only attended 28/152 sessions.

The mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, explained to the court that her daughter suffered from a number of stress related illnesses since 2004.

A number of organisations became involved in her case but the mother was particularly scathing regarding the performance of her primary school.

She said: “There attitude seemed to be to just drag her into school. They always seemed to be too busy doing something else.”

The mother’s point was underlined by the dramatic turnaround in her daughter’s attendance once she went to secondary school in September.

She said: “My daughter now had 96% attendance. The school are superb and have a fantastic support structure.

“Sometimes, she gets as near as the school gates. The staff come down and gently coax her in. They have so many coping mechanisms.”

Chair of magistrates, Mr Thomas gave the mother a one year conditional discharge and fined her £75 costs.

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