More than 1,000 Herts parents prosecuted for school absences

The number of parents prosecuted for their children missing school during term time has almost trebled over just four years.

In the school year 2012–2013 there were 126 prosecutions of parents by Herts County Council.

But three years later that had doubled to 243 cases of parents being prosecuted.

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And in 2016-17 there were 395 prosecutions, or 1,064 in five school years.

Cllr Terry Douris, executive member, education at Herts County Council, declined to speak to the Gazette about the issue.

But his opposition counterpart, Lib Dem councillor Mark Watkin, said that it was necessary for parents to understand why the council had to act.

He told the Gazette: “There is no simple answer. One is sympathetic to parents on an individual basis, but if everybody ignored the rules about not ensuring their children went to school then schools would not be able to ensure that students had a proper education.

“Fundamentally, children go to school to be educated. If you disrupt that then teachers can’t do their jobs.”

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