Every school day counts - parents face fines and costs for children failing to regularly attend

We’re taking a proactive stance on the importance of regular school attendance, with a recent court hearing resulting in 29 parents facing fines and costs totalling almost £9,000 for allowing their children to miss school without valid reasons.

The parents’ cases were taken to court following non-payment of penalty notices issued due to their children’s irregular school attendance. 

This follows a Barnsley mother narrowly avoiding a custodial sentence earlier this month for not sending her child to school regularly. 

We want Barnsley to be the place of possibilities, and this means remaining committed to ensuring that every child in our borough receives the education they deserve to succeed in their academic journey.

People caring for children are legally responsible for making sure their child gets a full-time education, either in school or through other suitable arrangements.

As a council, we're responsible for making sure that parents and carers fulfil their responsibilities.

Regular school attendance is a fundamental aspect of a child's development and growth. It not only enhances their learning experience but also nurtures their social and emotional well-being.

Cllr Trevor Cave, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services, said: “Education plays an essential role in shaping a child's future, and parental involvement in maintaining consistent attendance is vital to achieving this goal.

“These fines and costs are not meant to punish parents, but rather act as a reminder of the shared responsibility we have in ensuring our children's education.

“I understand that circumstances beyond people’s control can sometimes lead to absences and encourage parents to communicate openly with schools in such situations. By working together, we can ensure that our children receive the best possible education and are well-prepared for the opportunities that lie ahead.”

We also ask parents to consider the impact of taking children out of school for holidays. While we acknowledge that families want to keep holiday costs down, term-time holidays can create gaps in learning that are difficult to bridge, potentially leading to academic setbacks and challenges that could have been avoided through consistent attendance. 

More information on school attendance and absence is available at barnsley.gov.uk/services/children-families-and-education/schools-and-learning/school-attendance-and-absence/

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