Parents to have child benefit deducted if children miss school
Charlie Taylor, the Government's 'Discipline Tsar' plans to issue parents with parking style fines via deductions through their child benefit if they allow their primary school kids to truant.
He will also raise the current £50 penalty to £60, which, much like a parking fine, will then double to £120 if not paid within 28 days.
His ideas come in response to the revelation that half of the 127,000 fines issued in the past eight years have either been unpaid or waived.
Former head teacher Mr Taylor said the new style penalties will 'strengthen and simplify' the system, which he claims currently allows 'some parents' to 'simply allow their children to miss school and then refuse to pay the fine'.
Charlie added that it was 'vital kids do not miss school' and that head teachers needed backing in 'getting parents to play their part'. At the moment, although heads can issue parents with £50 fines if their children play truant, they do not have the power to make them cough up the money.
Education Secretary Michael Gove is said to be likely to accept Mr Taylor's proposals in full – even though they do not include a call for a legal ban on kids being taken out of school during term time for family holidays, something the Tories had previously pledged to introduce.
Tamsin Kelly, editor of parentdish.co.uk, comments: 'Holiday companies raise their prices so dramatically during school holidays that many parents simply couldn't afford to take their families for a break during allowed times. Many parents would argue that in addition to making a saving of hundreds of pounds, they are giving their children new experiences which, especially in primary years and in moderation, may be of more benefit than sitting at a desk. Rather than penalising families,why does the Government not look more at the hikes in holiday pricing.
What do you think about this new style 'fining'? Do you agree with it?
Have you taken your children out during term time?