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Fining parents of persistent truants could cause more problems.

RCT N

Following a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 8th April Rhondda Cynon Taff Council will be consulting on the introduction of a new system of fining parents of pupils who regularly miss school with no good reason.
This follows a controversial decision by the Welsh Government last year which means that from September fixed penalty notices of £60 can be issued as a result of unauthorised absence, rising to £120 if the fine is not paid within 28 days.
RCT Welsh Liberal Democrat Campaign Manager Karen Roberts is a governor at Tonypandy Community College and says the fines could cause additional problems in deprived areas.
"The Council's hands are tied to a large extent on this issue, they are being instructed by the Welsh Government to introduce this system.
"Many people believe that fining parents will not address the problems of truancy - on the spot fines introduced in England by the previous Labour Government did not have the required effect. Research points to the fact that children from poorer backgrounds are more likely to play truant and achieve lower educational outcomes. Fining parents will cause them more economic hardship and will do nothing to address the problems of their child missing vital school hours.
"It is a major issue that all of us involved with education are greatly concerned with. We have put substantial efforts into raising attendance at Tonypandy, as have other schools, and we are very pleased with the results. Much of the work is based on establishing good relationships with pupils and parents and a heavy handed system of fines would not necessarily help us or anyone else achieve better attendance figures.
"Parents need to take responsibility for ensuring their children attend school regularly, and both them and the pupils have to be made aware of just how much of a difference it could make to their long term educational and work prospects."

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