Kent County Council has successfully prosecuted a mother and father for allowing their son’s school attendance to drop to just 10% while Kent schools’ average attendance rate is well above 95%.
The couple have been found guilty and fined £1,240 each by magistrates.
The parents, who failed to appear in court, had told KCC they were educating the 13-year-old at home but produced no evidence of that and never took him off roll at the secondary school he was supposed to be attending.
The parents also claimed they wanted the boy to attend a different school but never applied to any other.
Roger Gough, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education at Kent County Council said: “This case highlights the importance we place on children attending school regularly, it is crucial to a child’s education that they make full use of the education on offer to them.
“It is the parent’s’ responsibility to get their child to school and we will support schools to prosecute parents who do not do this.
“In this instance the changes we made to our Elective Home Education policy in 2015 meant we could insist on a meeting with these parents.
“As they did not attend we were able to take further action. These were the very reasons we strengthened our policy. Too many children slip through the net when their parents take them out of school when they have low attendance and say they will home educate them.
“Children should be in school for 190 days a year. This child only attended 19 days and the previous year they missed 65 days, this is totally unacceptable.”