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Increased truancy fines – is this a new speed record for government?

The radio news this morning had a few articles on truancy with the “behaviour czar” (what a lovely Orwellian name for an interfering twat) wanting to increase the fines payable by parents of persistent truants. This evening, while having a trawl through the statutory instruments, I was a little surprised to find that the increase in fines was rubber stamped on April 2nd.

The BBC this morning – note the future intentions :

Behaviour tsar Charlie Taylor says unpaid truancy fines should be recovered directly from child-benefit payments in a crackdown on absenteeism.

Currently, penalty notices for truancy can be issued to parents who allow their children to miss too much school.

They can be issued by head teachers, council officers and the police, and lead to fines of £50 – doubling to £100 if parents fail to pay within 28 days. At this point the issuer has to prosecute or withdraw the penalty notice.

Mr Taylor’s report highlights the fact that of the 127,000 penalty notices issued since their introduction in 2004, around half were unpaid or withdrawn.

Mr Taylor wants the fines increased to £60 in the first instance, doubling to £120 if they are unpaid after 28 days. At this point the money would then be automatically recovered from child benefit payments.

But county court action would follow for those parents not in receipt of child benefit.

The offending Statutory Instrument :

These Regulations amend the Education (Penalty Notices) (England) Regulations 2007 to increase the penalties payable under penalty notices issued in respect of offences under section 444 (offence: failure to secure regular attendance at school of registered pupil) of the Education Act 1996 and section 103 (duty of parent in relation to excluded pupil) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006.
They increase the penalties from £50 to £60 for those who pay within 28 days and from £100 to £120 for those who pay within 42 days (regulation 2). The increases do not apply where the offences are alleged to have been wholly or partly committed before 1st September 2012 (regulation 3).

Nick Gibb

Minister of State

Department for Education

2nd April 2012

Having one minister (or whatever title he holds) talking in the future tense about something already in place must surely be a new record.

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3 comments to Increased truancy fines – is this a new speed record for government?

  • […] »I knew something fishy was going on with the truancy fines press release timing …After writing yesterday about my surprise at finding a Statutory Instrument which seemed to predict the future, I have had […]

  • Bill

    Left hand right hand and all that but to be honest I am shifting from the position that most of this crap is planned to slowly turn the screw to a position where the dumbing down of society (whatever that is) has been most effective in the political class.

    Either that or TPTB are trying their damndest to rouse their slaves into revolting so they can screw them down even tighter. Or I may be losing my marbles…

    • Wasp

      Bill – I was thinking very much the same actually but it seems to me that people are beyond even being poked and prodded into revolt judging by the complete lack of interest in the ever increasing laws, fines and regulation.