Warrant issued for arrest of mum of truanting children - kids could go into care
A mum could lose custody of her kids after failing to turn up at court over their persistent truancy.
A warrant has now been issued for the arrest of 40-year-old Claudia Jane Ward after she skipped the hearing at Truro Magistrates Court.
Christopher Whitehead, the local education welfare officer, said Ms Ward had made it quite clear she would not abide by any legal or school rules for her children in an onoing case on their truanting which went back to 2002.
He said there was now 'perhaps' a 'case for social care.'
Magistrates heard that Ms Ward's children, who are aged six, 12 and 14, had accumulated 57 unauthorised absences from September 5 to December 10 last year and were still not turning up for school.
Kevin Hill, prosecuting for Cornwall Council, said their mum claimed she did not know why the children were not in school. Mr Hill argued that the prosecution believed she 'must have known, or willfully turned a blind eye' to the absences.
Witnesses told the court that all the children's education was suffering through their absences and the eldest child had missed a GCSE examination.
Ward was accused of failing to engage with the authorities, despite being made aware on every occasion her children had not turned up for school. She reportedly left one meeting early, shouting and swearing, and claimed she could educate her children how she chose, adding that if they wanted to go to school they could, but if they did not they did not need too.
Education welfare officer Liz Mozeley told the hearing that Ward 'felt they could pick and choose when they go'.
Mr Whitehead said he had picked up the case after his predecessor had allegedly received threats from Ms Ward, who has convictions for similar offences in 2008 and 2011 and had been put on a curfew.
Magistrates chairman Tony Woodhams said the evidence presented had been 'very strong' and the case against Ward proved beyond reasonable doubt. A warrant was then issued for her arrest and return to court for sentencing.
Does it shock you when parents have such disregard for their kids' education?