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Truancy: Yorkshire and the Humber

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 15 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many parents in each local authority area in Yorkshire and the Humber appeared in court on charges related to the unauthorised absence of their child from school in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (280689)

The Ministry of Justice collects and publishes 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 s444 data are also collected under the more general heading of various offences under the Education Act 1996.

The information on the number of parents prosecuted by local authorities in Yorkshire and the Humber for failing to secure their children’s regular school attendance between 2003 to 2007 (latest available data) is detailed in the table. Data are collected on the basis of police force regions and not local authority areas. Court proceedings data for 2008 will be available in the autumn of 2009.

Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts for offences under the Education Act 1996 S.4441, Yorkshire and Humberside region, broken down by police force area, 2003 to 20072, 3

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Humberside

65

29

208

224

225

North Yorkshire

19

21

24

34

53

South Yorkshire

463

375

333

455

483

West Yorkshire

162

218

63

19

9

Yorkshire and Humberside

709

643

628

732

770

1 Includes the following;

(a) Failure to secure regular attendance at school. (Education Act 1996 S.444 (1)(8)).

(b) Parent knows that their child is failing to attend school regularly and fails without reasonable justification to cause him or her to attend school. (Education Act 1996 S.444(8)(1a)(8a) added by Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 S.72).

2 The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

3 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Source:

Evidence and Analysis Unit—Office for Criminal Justice Reform, Ministry of Justice