Mum fined after son skips school

AN Ipswich mother, who allowed her son to go on holiday during school term, has been fined £400 after her son repeatedly refused to go to school.The 36-year-old mother, who can not be named for legal reasons, appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court yesterday where magistrates heard her 14-year-old son was currently on holiday in Spain.

By Victoria Knowles

AN Ipswich mother, who allowed her son to go on holiday during school term, has been fined £400 after her son repeatedly refused to go to school.

The 36-year-old mother, who can not be named for legal reasons, appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court yesterday where magistrates heard her 14-year-old son was currently on holiday in Spain.

She told that court: "He just does not like going to school. Although he is getting better now and seems to be enjoying it."

The boy has had 145 unauthorised absences between October 15 last year and March 22 this year. His absences were blamed on a late-night life style.

The mother has been attending parenting classes voluntarily and told the court that she thought they were helping her.

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Out of the last eight school sessions – there are two a day – he has attended five.

Chairman of the bench David Coe asked her if she thought she could get her son to school in future.

"Yes I think I can with some help," she said.

She told the court that he was on holiday during the time other pupils were doing work experience because he had not been given a place.

On sentencing Mr Coe said: "He is not in school and then he disappears on holiday. We would expect the local authority to bring this back to court quickly if there are further problems."

She was fined £400 and ordered to pay £50.

Yesterday's case is the second to be dealt with by south east Suffolk magistrates recently. Last month a 37-year-old was fined £50 after her son had attended just 16 out of 182 sessions.

And the cases follow national concern after Oxfordshire mother Patricia Amos was jailed for allowing her children to miss school. She was originally sentenced to 60 days' jail, but this was reduced on appeal.

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