Tilbury mother spared jail over kids truancy

A MOTHER  received a suspended jail sentence after admitting failing to secure her children’s regular attendance at school.

The woman, from Tilbury — who cannot be named for legal reasons — has a 15-year-old son and a seven-year-old daughter

On Thursday (22 September) she was sentenced to 14 days imprisonment, suspended for nine months by Basildon Magistrates. The court was told the mother had been prosecuted at Grays Magistrates’ Court last year for failing to send the children to school. Following the previous prosecution, the mother failed to engage with Thurrock Council’s Education Welfare Service despite repeated requests to do so.

The court heard that during a four month period six meetings were arranged, but none went ahead due to either the mother’s cancellation or non-attendance.

She also failed to attend the council’s Borough Attendance Panel to give reasons for her children’s poor attendance.

From the time she was told of the impending prosecution and prior to the sentencing hearing a further six appointments to meet were offered by the Education Welfare Service but these did not go ahead due to non-contact from the mother.

The court was further advised that despite the children’s poor attendance and not gaining permission from the children’s respective schools the mother took them out of school for a short family holiday.

The prosecution was brought under section 444(1A) of the Education Act 1996, which carries a maximum penalty of a fine not exceeding £2,500 or up to three months imprisonment.

The mother was sentenced to 14 days imprisonment, suspended for nine months, with a nine month Supervision Order for failing to secure her children’s regular attendance at school. She was also ordered to pay £120 contribution towards the costs of bringing the case.

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