Chessington mother given record fine after her children missed school for more than six months

Surrey Comet: Chessington mum given record fine after her children missed school for more than six months Chessington mum given record fine after her children missed school for more than six months

Chessington mum has been fined £800 after two of her children failed to turn up to school for more than six months.

Hollyfield School, which is an Ofsted rated ‘good’ school, took the mother to court because it felt it had “exhausted all of its actions”.

The total penalty of £1,240 including costs and surcharges is the highest fine yet in any truancy case in Kingston. The largest amount any parent can be fined for one offence is £1,000.

Darren Bonehill, Hollyfield assistant headteacher, said: “The reason the school decided to prosecute the family for non attendance was because it felt it had exhausted all of its actions to try and get the mother to cooperate and send her children to school.

“This involved letters, meetings, contacts and on all occasions the mother broke the agreements.  “The school felt it had to take this action because it has a legal obligation to ensure all pupils attend school unless parents could explain why this was not possible.”

One child was persistently absent from the school in Surbiton Hill Road between April 15 to October 18 last year.

The other child also repeatedly failed to turn up to the academy between April 15 and November 22.

The fine was handed out in the absence of the mother who failed to show up to the hearing at Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court on February 11 for two counts of truancy.

Mr Bonehill said since the prosecution one child had started to come in but the other remained absent despite a warning that the mother could face the courts again.

This has been the first successful prosecution for the co-educational school in Surbiton which has more than 1,000 pupils.

The coalition Government made it an offence for parents to allow their children to play truant with fines generally fixed at £60 to be paid within 21 days, or face this doubling within 28 days.

Councillor David Ryder-Mills, lead member for schools and continuing education, said: “Prosecuting parents or carers is a last resort, and happens only after a lot of work by the school and other professionals to try to help the family and enable the children to join their friends at school.

“If despite all our efforts we get no cooperation then we have no choice but to go to court. It is up to the courts to decide the level of punishment."

The woman declined to comment.

Comments (7)

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1:23pm Mon 10 Mar 14

alroutemaster says...

Dysfunctional family, probably a single mother on benefits.......
Dysfunctional family, probably a single mother on benefits....... alroutemaster
  • Score: -1

4:14pm Mon 10 Mar 14

chessingtonman says...

how judgemental can you be!! their is always 2 sides to every story!!! i think that that is a very single and narrow minded comment to make!!!
how judgemental can you be!! their is always 2 sides to every story!!! i think that that is a very single and narrow minded comment to make!!! chessingtonman
  • Score: 7

4:28pm Mon 10 Mar 14

alroutemaster says...

chessingtonman wrote:
how judgemental can you be!! their is always 2 sides to every story!!! i think that that is a very single and narrow minded comment to make!!!
That is why there is (for instance) so much child abuse and killings these days. Because police and social services are so PC they are NOT judgemental. Well I am, and I'm right more times than I'm wrong.......
[quote][p][bold]chessingtonman[/bold] wrote: how judgemental can you be!! their is always 2 sides to every story!!! i think that that is a very single and narrow minded comment to make!!![/p][/quote]That is why there is (for instance) so much child abuse and killings these days. Because police and social services are so PC they are NOT judgemental. Well I am, and I'm right more times than I'm wrong....... alroutemaster
  • Score: -5

4:32pm Mon 10 Mar 14

chessingtonman says...

ok so a single mum on benefits leads to child abuse and killings?? ok well that's a bold and stupid statement to make!! you are embarrassing yourself and you say your right most of the time?? hmmmm rightyo!!
ok so a single mum on benefits leads to child abuse and killings?? ok well that's a bold and stupid statement to make!! you are embarrassing yourself and you say your right most of the time?? hmmmm rightyo!! chessingtonman
  • Score: 5

6:10pm Mon 10 Mar 14

John O'Connell says...

"Dysfunctional family, probably a single mother on benefits......."

And your source for that insight is?
"Dysfunctional family, probably a single mother on benefits......." And your source for that insight is? John O'Connell
  • Score: 1

6:49pm Mon 10 Mar 14

chessingtonman says...

im waiting for the facts and figures how it leads to child abuse and killings!!! this is going to be a long wait John
im waiting for the facts and figures how it leads to child abuse and killings!!! this is going to be a long wait John chessingtonman
  • Score: 0

10:22am Thu 13 Mar 14

chessingtonman says...

this is a long wait on alroutemaster to back up his ridiculous claims...
this is a long wait on alroutemaster to back up his ridiculous claims... chessingtonman
  • Score: 0

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