Should parents be fined if children are repeatedly late for school in Suffolk and Essex?

Parents could face fines of up to �1,000 and community service sentences if their children are late

Parents could face fines of up to �1,000 and community service sentences if their children are late for school, according to a report in The Sunday Times. Picture: DAVID JONES/PA WIRE - Credit: PA

Some schools around the country have told families they could be fined if children are repeatedly late for school.

Schools and councils in Essex, Hampshire and the West Midlands are extending the £60 fixed penalties issued for missing school to also include lateness, The Sunday Times reports.

Warwickshire County Council’s guidance says that if pupils are often late - arriving more than half an hour after the register is taken - families could face financial penalties.

Parents of students at Winter Gardens Academy in Essex have been told they could be fined £60 if their children consistently arrive after 9am, increasing to £120 if not paid within 21 days, the newspaper reports.

Tom Bennett, the Government’s behaviour tsar, said sanctions such as litter collection or the removal of chewing gum could be imposed on pupils, with the fines being a last resort.

He suggested adults walk with their children in the mornings, adding: “Most pupils would rather lose an arm than be seen walking up to school with their parents.”

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “Pupils being punctual to lessons not only benefits their learning but also helps them develop core skills which will stand them in good stead for future employment.

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“It is right that schools monitor patterns of lateness and address it where it becomes a concern. It is a matter for individual schools to decide when to close their register and take action as needed, provided it is in line with the local authority’s code of conduct.”

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