On the spot fines for parents of kids off school.

The BBC reports that the govt plans to introduce on the spot fines of £25 to £100 pounds to parents when found with their kids out of school without the school’s permission. The fines can be imposed by head teachers, council officers or the police. The fines are as follows:

  • £25 – Parent agrees absence unauthorised and pays in 14 days
  • £50 – Parent does not agree absence was unauthorised and pays in 14 days
  • £50 – Parent agrees absence was unauthorised and pays in 28 days
  • £100 – Parent does not agree absence was unauthorised and pays in 28 days

Note that disputing that the absence was unauthorised will double the initial fine. This proposal would thus see parents fined if, for example, the school failed to record the authorisation or, worse, if a head teacher or police officers was abusing his or her powers. The cost of going to court to challenge these fines would likely be more than the fines themselves, leaving the imposition of fines open to abuse.

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