As all parents know, it can be a struggle getting children up and ready to go to school in the mornings. But Miranda Hammond's challenges with her son are in a different league altogether.
Most of us can encourage or cajole our kids into putting on their uniforms and dragging them to the schoolgates, but 12-year-old Ajay flatly refuses.
And his mum says she can do nothing about it – because he's too big!
It's a battle Miranda has fought for three years to the point where she is being threatened with court action for Ajay's unauthorised absence
which could result in hefty fines.
But the mum-of-four from Plymouth says if that's what needs to happen to get her reluctant lad through the school gates, she'll take the punishment because she's at her wits' end.
Miranda, 37, says Ajay hates school because he doesn't like homework and finds it 'boring'. When he was younger, she used to pull him out of bed, dress him and push him through the school gates.
But as he is nearly a teen, Miranda says he is 'much bigger and stronger' and 'built like a mini rugby player', making it physically impossible for her to force him to learn.
Miranda told her local paper
: "I'm happy to go to court if that means I will get some help.
"I've been trying my hardest, I used to pull him out of bed and get him dressed, push him in the car and through the school gates, but I can't do that anymore.
"I'm 5ft 3in and he's much bigger and stronger, he's built like a mini rugby player. He also knows the law and says that if I touch him that it's assault. I'm at my wits' end."
Miranda was given an official warning last week and if her son's truancy is not curbed she has been told she could face the courts.
Ajay is in Year 8 at Ivybridge Community College, but attends on average just one day a week. Miranda said she called a meeting on Friday to discuss the issue further.
The meeting was held in Miranda's car because Ajay refused to get out and go into the school building.
Now Ajay needs to attend school every day for four weeks under the 'fast track to attendance' scheme. Any unauthorised absence will result in a £60 penalty notice which Miranda will have to pay.
Miranda said: "However Ajay did not go in to school on Monday or Tuesday. Why are they prosecuting me when it should be him?
"If you've got a child that's stronger and bigger than you then what more can I do?"
A spokesman for Devon County Council said: "Parents have the ultimate responsibility to ensure their child attends school.
"Education welfare officers will work with schools and colleges to try and help with specific issues resulting in why students are not attending."
A spokeswoman for Ivybridge Community College said
: "We monitor attendance on a daily basis to promote the good habit of punctuality and good attendance. We have a robust system to track and support any students who may be absent.
"This begins with parents contacting the college if their child is absent and is further supported by an automated service to our parents."
- Strict headteacher introduces 'tinkle pass'
Charlotte Blencowe, the new headteacher at Castle Vale Performing Arts College in Birmingham certainly made her mark when she joined the school - she introduced a string of new policies, including <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/09/10/strict-headteacher-introduces-tinkle-pass-so-children-can-only-leave-class-for-toilet-once-a-week/#" target="_blank">only allowing children to go out of class to use the toilet once a week!</a> Students are issued the bizarrely entitled 'I am missing super learning opportunities because I need a tinkle' pass on Monday morning, and it can only be used once during the week. If not used, it must be handed in on Friday afternoon to ensure they are not carried forward to the next week, which would allow pupils, shock horror, TWO toilet breaks.</p>
- Boy 20cm outside catchment area denied school place
Jonathan and Victoria Housden were planning to send their son Brock, three, to Bandon Hill Primary, the nearest school to his home in Wallington, south London. But sticklers at Sutton Council <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/05/24/boy-denied-place-at-local-primary-school-because-he-lives-20cm-outside-catchment-area/" target="_blank">calculated the distance from home to school - to the last centimetre!</a> - and ruled that he was just outside the limit, as his family home lies 433.25m from the school, and the school's catchment area ended at 433.05m. Brock was temporarily left without a school place after missing out on all four of his other choices, again because he was outside the catchment areas.</p>
- Friends of schoolboy who died from cancer banned from wearing charity wristbands
The friends of a schoolboy who died following a long battle with cancer were told they would be <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/09/25/friends-of-schoolboy-jordan-cobby-who-died-from-cancer-are-banned-from-wearing-charity-wristbands/" target="_blank">sent home from school</a> if they wore wristbands sold for charity in his memory. Jordan Cobby, 14, died after being diagnosed with a tumour behind his eye. Wristbands in memory of the brave teenager were sold at his school, Nuneaston Academy in Warwickshire, with proceeds going to the Teenage Cancer Trust. However, 18 months after his death, pupils were told they could no longer wear the wristbands as they were not part of the school uniform.</p>
- Pupils banned from wearing coats inside school
Deputy headteacher Nigel Barlow from Tring School in Hertfordshire <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/12/10/pupils-banned-from-wearing-coats-inside-school-tring/" target="_blank">sparked criticism from parents</a> when he insisted that children remove their winter coats, scarves, gloves and hats before entering school buildings. Mr Barlow wrote to parents informing them that their children would face a one hour after-school detention if they were caught breaking the rule three times. One parent branded the system 'heavy-handed' and said that the school seemed to enforce 'one draconian measure after another' and that this latest one was 'absolutely ridiculous'.</p>
- Boy, 4, banned from school because of his mohawk hair
Kain Ball, four, was told not to return to his class at Wyken Croft Primary School in Coventry <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/06/28/boy-4-banned-from-school-because-of-his-mohawk-hair/" target="_blank">until his mohawk was lopped off.</a> Kain's mum Hannah, 24, who is a hairdresser no less, was angered by the school's decision, but teachers claimed the cut was too extreme and against the school's policy, despite the mohawk being on the very mini side…</p>
- School bans parents from watching children compete in sports without a criminal record check
A school has banned parents from watching their children take part in sports events - <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/09/30/school-bans-parents-from-watching-children-compete-in-sports-without-crb-criminal-record-check/" target="_blank">unless they pass a criminal records check!</a> The red tape restriction from over-anxious Isambard Community School in Swindon, Wiltshire, is prompted by a fear of potential paedophiles. Dad-of-five Neil Park, 54, saw red when he was turned away from watching his son George, 12, play rugby because he had not completed a Criminal Records Bureau application.</p>
- Secondary school bans mirrors
Shelley College in Huddersfield took drastic action to stop teenage girls locking themselves in the loo over their lunch breaks and plastering on make-up -<a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/09/14/school-bans-mirrors-to-stop-girls-plastering-on-make-up/" target="_blank"> it banned toilet mirrors altogether!</a> The school stripped out the mirrors as older girls applying slap at lunchtime was putting some younger pupils off going into the toilets. Staff at the school also now carry make-up removal kits and nail varnish remover to strip pupils of their war paint if they wear too much!</p>
- Boy kept home after school insists he cuts off ponytail
11-year-old Connor Wallwork was taken out of school by his dad after teachers at Westhoughton High in Bolton said he <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/09/22/boy-kept-home-after-school-insists-he-cuts-off-ponytail/" target="_blank">had to cut off his ponytail to comply with the school's uniform code.</a> Connor had sported the three-inch tail since he was a toddler, and his dad said it was 'natural' to him to wear it, and would cause him distress if it was removed. He also claimed the school was infringing his son's human rights by insisting he changed his hairstyle. </p>
- Schoolgirl sent home because her trousers were 'too tight'
Schoolgirl Ciccone Francis was sent home from the Ipswich Academy on the first day back at school after the summer break <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/09/11/schoolgirl-sent-home-because-her-trousers-were-too-tight/" target="_blank">because her trousers were deemed ‘too tight’.</a>The school had already recently changed the uniform policy, imposing a rule that girls now have to wear black trousers and not skirts and tights, as was the uniform during the last school year. Ciccone’s mum challenged the rule, saying her daughter’s trousers were not leggings or jeggings, but straight-cut trousers, but Ciccone was not allowed back to school with her trousers of choice. </p>
- Girl denied place at school her three siblings attend
Casey-Beth Kitson, four, was excited at the thought of joining her brother, Jayden, five, and sisters, Jessica, eight and Rebecka, nine, at Throston Primary School in Hartlepool. But her local authority said the school was 'heavily oversubscribed' and Casey-Beth would have to go elsewhere on the basis that <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/10/06/four-year-old-girl-denied-place-at-school-her-three-siblings-attend/" target="_blank">she lives outside the catchment area.</a> Her parents, Steven and Yvonne, lodged an appeal against the decision, but it was rejected. Now, the little girl goes to a school which is nearer to her home, but away from her brother and sisters.</p>
- School clamps down on kids wearing black plimsolls
William Parker Sports College faced the wrath of angry parents after it <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/03/19/parents-rage-as-school-clamps-down-on-kids-wearing-black-plimsolls/" target="_blank">slapped a ban on kids wearing black plimsolls in class</a>, instead of school shoes. The school started sending children home, and teaching some in isolation if they arrived for lessons wearing plimsolls instead of shoes, despite some pupils wearing plimsolls without any bother for three months. </p>
- Two schoolboys sponsored by head to shave their heads punished the next day at school!
Here's a tale to leave you well and truly scratching your heads. Billy Howard and Joe Moon, both 15, jointly raised £500 for <a href="http://www.stlukes-hospice.org/" target="_blank">St Luke's Hospice</a> in Basildon, Essex by getting their heads shaved. They got permission from Gable Hall School in Stanford-Le-Hope, Essex, and were sponsored by headteacher, Dr Sophina Asong. But when they arrived at school the next say, they were told they <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/05/25/two-schoolboys-sponsored-by-head-to-shave-their-heads-punished-the-next-day-at-school/" target="_blank">would be taught in isolation until their hair grew back</a>, as their hair had been shaved an eighth of an inch shorter than the school allowed!</p>
- Girl suspended from school for 'unnatural' dyed red hair
Fern Burke, 14, was kicked out of school after teachers <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/09/24/girl-suspended-from-school-for-unnatural-dyed-red-hair-middleton-technology-school/" target="_blank">saw red over her dyed hair</a>. The teenager from Rochdale dyed her brunette hair red over the summer holidays. The colour lightened during the school break, but she was told she could not return to her lessons at Middleton Technology School until her hair was darker and a more 'natural' colour.</p>
- Schoolboy taught in isolation because of his tie
<span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 12pt;">A boy of 13 was made to do his lessons in isolation because his </span><a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2013/02/15/schoolboy-taught-in-isolation-because-his-tie-deemed-health-and-safety-risk/" style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 12pt;" target="_blank">TIE was deemed a health and safety hazard by his school.</a><span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 12pt;"> </span><span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 12pt;">Max Richmond's teachers at Colne Community School in Brightlingsea, Essex said his school tie breached regulations because it was not a 'clip-on' style - despite being exactly the same in terms of colour and design as the uniform version. </span><span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 12pt;">Max said he preferred to wear a proper tie rather than a 'childish' clip-on one.</span></p>