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Truancy

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 6 October 2008, Official Report, columns 518-20W, on truancy, how many (a) fathers and (b) mothers were (i) fined and (ii) imprisoned for their children’s non-attendance at school in 2007. (253395)

The Ministry of Justice collects data for England and Wales on prosecutions brought against parents under the Education Act 1996 for the offence under s444(1) for failing to secure their child’s regular attendance at school; and for prosecutions under s444(1A), the aggravated offence of knowing that their child is failing to attend school regularly. It is possible, because of the way courts record data that some data are collected under the more general heading of various offences under the Education Act 1996.

The information on the number of people by gender sentenced and given fines or immediate custodial sentences is detailed in the table.

The Department also separately collects for England data on penalty notices issued to parents for failing to ensure that their child attends school regularly and for the school academic year 2006/07 this was 14,625. The Department does not collect data by gender type.

Adult male and female sentenced for child truanting offences'1, 2007

Fined

Immediate custody

Parent failing to secure their child’s regular attendance at school'2

Male

831

1

Female

2,281

5

Parent knowing that their child is failing to attend school regularly without reasonable justification to cause him or her to attend school

Male

187

3

Female

489

8

1 These data are extracted on the principal offence basis.

Note:

These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.

Source:

OMS Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice