Schools in Worksop issued most fines for skipping class last year, new stats show

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

New stats show that Worksop schools issued the most fines to parents whose children skipped classes in the last academic year across the county.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that fines were issued to 63.3 per cent of parents in Bassetlaw for persistent absence, with Worksop schools making up more than 50 per cent of that figure for the 2014-2015 academic year.

The stats show a clear no tolerance rate - as schools in Bassetlaw are behind Mansfield and Ashfield for overall persistant absence in Nottinghamshire - which highlights the varied approach some head teachers take to issuing fines.

Outwood Academy Portland and Outwood Academy Valley in Worksop have both come under fire in the past for their strict approach.

Acting service director for youth, families and culture, Laurence Jones, said: “The importance of regular attendance at school cannot be overstated.

“A good education allows a young person to become socially, emotionally and educationally prepared for the world of work.

“It costs the local authority a significant amount of money to fine parents for non-school attendance.”

The number of parental fines in Nottinghamshire has risen sharply since the Government ban on term-time holidays was introduced in September 2013.

More than 300 fines were issued during the last academic year in Notts compared to 85 fines during the 2012-13 year - a rise of around 70 per cent.

The latest council figures show persistent absence figures for schools in Bassetlaw accounted for 16.4 per cent of the Nottinghamshire total respectively.

Parents are fined £60 per parent per child per period of absence, which rises to £120 if not paid within 21 days.

Previously, schools were allowed to grant leave for family holidays of up to 10 days per year, and of over 10 days in ‘exceptional circumstances,’ at the head teacher’s discretion.