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Pupils: Truancy

Volume 490: debated on Monday 30 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many parents were (a) fined and (b) imprisoned in (i) England, (ii) Enfield local authority area and (iii) Enfield North constituency for their children’s non-attendance at school in each of the last five years. (263913)

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) of 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 parents sentenced and given fines or immediate custodial sentences is detailed in the following table. However, the Ministry of Justice does not collect information on prosecutions on local authority or constituency basis so it is not possible to provide a breakdown for Enfield local authority or Enfield North.

Adults sentenced for child truanting offences1, 2003-07

Fined

Immediate custody

2003

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

1,802

4

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

151

3

2004

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

1,605

8

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

476

14

2005

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

1,743

5

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

466

15

2006

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

2,324

2

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

628

20

2007

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

3,112

6

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

676

11

1 These data are extracted on the principal offence basis 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:

QMS Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice

The Department also collects and publishes data on penalty notices (fines) issued by local authorities in England to parents for not ensuring their child’s regular attendance at school.

The figures for the last four school academic years since our data collection began are detailed in the following table. Data are only collected on a local authority basis and not for constituencies.

School academic year—penalty notices for non attendance

England

Enfield

1 September 2004 to 31 July 2005

3,483

4

1 August 2005 to 1 September 2006

12,150

24

2 September 2006 to 31 August 2007

14,625

37

1 September 2007 to 31 August 2008

18,291

149

Source:

Department for Children, Schools and Families data March 2009