Truancy Fines - press release
16 April 2012
Commenting on the Behaviour Tsar Charlie Taylor’s proposals to take unpaid truancy fines directly from child benefit payments, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union said:
“Persistent truancy is obviously a problem. The effect of regular absenteeism from school on a pupil’s confidence and ability to understand what is being taught in the classroom is greatly affected.
“However it is not an issue that will be solved by fining parents. Deducting money from child benefit will have huge financial repercussions for many families. Having less money for food and bills will simply create a whole new set of problems.
“Parents need to be part of the solution and not be further alienated from the education of their children. We need properly resourced support systems, run by the local authority, which schools can call upon to deal with hard core truancy. With local authority budgets being so extensively cut this is increasingly difficult to achieve and is a refection of the short-sightedness of this Government’s policies.
“Replacing the repetitive test and targets culture of our schools with a relevant and flexible curriculum would certainly help to ensure all pupils remained engaged in education”.