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Truancy: Do the parents deserve to be jailed?

Four boys playing truant

Should it be the parents who get the blame for their child bunking off? Matt Allwright went out on patrol with Liverpool's Truancy Watch team.

In the last few years tough penalties have been imposed in the fight against truancy, with parents being jailed if their kids persistently fail to attend school.

Matt met Rose who was jailed for 14 days because her son refused to go to school. She now has a criminal record and feels she was punished instead of her son.

Since 2002, there have only 130 cases in England and Wales where the parents of persistant truants have ended up behind bars, compared to tens of thousands of prosecutions.

But many people feel it's the role of the parent to know where their child is at all times and to force them to go to school.

Not so, says Professor Ken Reid who's been monitoring the nation's truancy problem for many years. He's come across plenty of cases where parents just can't control their teenagers.

And the figures seem to support this. Despite the threat of jail for parents the numbers still keep rising. Each day some 60,000 children play truant - the highest statistic in a decade.

Professor Reid told Matt,"there is no evidence that jailing parents is stopping the large numbers of children who are truanting at the moment".

But what do you think? Should parents be held responsible for their child's truancy? What's the solution?

Share your opinions on how to solve this problem


  • 1. At 7:05pm on 25 Mar 2009, Raiden616 wrote:

    I'm 17, and I have never missed school or college. I get up a 4:30 every day quite happily and have to drag my Dad out of bed at 6:30. Sometimes I have afternoons off, being in college having frees, and get fed up when people think I'm someone bunking off. I get so angry at the people who think I am a truant, because that's simply not me.

    Kids who bunk off disgust me. Just take this as comfort that not all of us are like that. x

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  • 2. At 7:05pm on 25 Mar 2009, LilLizzyEmoPrincess wrote:

    I think its unfair parents take the blame for thir children not going to school, but i also thing its unfair kids get steryotyped as doig it for fun!

    I was badly bullied in school and altho the school knew about it they did little to get me back in to the school scene. They thretand me with putting my mum in jail becaues i wasnt going in.
    She owuld do everything but phisicly drag me in, we ues to argue every morning so it wasnt like she wasnt trying!
    I ended up leaving school a yr early with no GCSEs but i am now succiding in a college coures and am one of the top in the class.

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  • 3. At 7:09pm on 25 Mar 2009, MrAmstrad wrote:

    I'm 37 and yesterday I bunked off Geography. My main issue as that I am a lot older than many of the teachers there and feel they should be learning from me!

    Besides that, I look odd in the end of school group photographs.

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  • 4. At 7:10pm on 25 Mar 2009, clare_lou wrote:

    I am a school teacher- and I had low attendence at school due to bullying. I have a girl in my form who refused to come to school for a different reason. Everyday her father rings up to let us know he is trying. what will happen to him?? Parents like this dont deserved to be punished. Children need to learn the have to take responsibilities for the choices they take. Possilly the children recieve a fine to be paid from employment/ benefits when they hit 18?

    Maybe a youth offender institution, it may be harsh but truency is becoming a joke for some kids. Parents cannot physically drag their children in.

    I do see the other side, children being taken out for holidays/ shopping trips. How would they fel if their child's teacher did the same!!??

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  • 5. At 7:11pm on 25 Mar 2009, Madcapal wrote:

    We need to bring back the cane in schools as we currently have no sanctions against unruly kids. We should also go one step further and bring back the birch for petty criminals, a lot of whom are teenagers.

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  • 6. At 7:11pm on 25 Mar 2009, Pirate_Amy wrote:

    My idea for the truancy problem is to stop their child benefit when the child plays truant, at the job centre if you dont turn up they have the same policy to stop their job seeker money, and that works!

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  • 7. At 7:12pm on 25 Mar 2009, soapbox79 wrote:

    I would never have dreamed of bunking off school as my mum & dad before me would never have done. The main problem with kids today & the truancy problems, anti social behaviour problems, underage drinking, drugs & pregnancy issues that this country is experiencing is due to the fact that you have got Kids raising Kids with absolutley no idea what they are doing - you will have to solve this issue first before you tackle something as small as truancy.
    Jailing the parents has no effect whatsoever. Perhaps parenting classes for parents of children who are playing truant???

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  • 8. At 7:12pm on 25 Mar 2009, Newbunkle wrote:

    When I was at school I was bullied every day. As a result I took a lot of time off school and my parents had a hard time making me go.

    I would be apalled if I thought they would get into trouble for a problem out of our control.

    What the government needs to do is tackle the underlying problems that lead to truancy. In my case, the bullies should have been harshly dealt with, so that I could go to school without fear.

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  • 9. At 7:12pm on 25 Mar 2009, DigbyFarquart wrote:

    In Harrogate the colloquial for Truancy is 'Twagging'.

    Probably a tad posh for Adrian!

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  • 10. At 7:12pm on 25 Mar 2009, BossyWitch wrote:

    It's many years since I was at school, but when I was, there were institutions such a Borstals and Approved Schools - similar places should be set up for persistent truants run as boarding schools where they are only permitted limited time away from the premises. Additionally maybe such establishments could have additional curricular activities which may help the youngsters learn some discipline and self reespect.

    At the end of the day, it is their own low self image which allows them to behave in this way - if they don't matter, it doesn't matter! It's not always the fault of the parent.

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  • 11. At 7:12pm on 25 Mar 2009, AzzyScot wrote:

    I'm now 35 but I did skip school regularly from the age of 14. I now have strong qualifications though that is not relevant (I got all these in the interviening years).

    I had good reasons for truancy - I was being bullied, I was dyslexic (this wasnt discovered till university year 3) and I was also bored (IQ 142). Schools need to examine both how they teach and what the issues are for each individual are if they are truanting.

    Often the parents know little about this sort of thing. I certainly managed to truant for 3 years with no one finding out. On the occasions when I was caught I said I had a free period and at school I went in to register then left before or after the first period.

    Help these kids, dont punish both them and their parents.

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  • 12. At 7:12pm on 25 Mar 2009, vina111 wrote:

    It's easy to say it's all down to the parents. My son was six foot three at age 15, I was a single mum who stood 5 foot one... If my son didn't want to go to school, there was no physical way I could make him... Lucky for me, he was a good kid and did okay in the end.

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  • 13. At 7:12pm on 25 Mar 2009, eternalsunshine27 wrote:

    Get all the truants into alan sugars adverts for apprentiships as they all probably hate school and this would give them a good incentive to work

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  • 14. At 7:13pm on 25 Mar 2009, SESKU_Mum wrote:

    As is always the case with television reports on Truancy Patrols, you failed to highlight the innocent parents and children like myself who are legitimatly in town with our children and are persecuted on a regular basis.

    Our crime not that our children are truanting, but rather that we have taken the option to Home Educate our children ourselves.

    I am regularly stopped on the way to museums or libraries with my child, while other parents often stood in town with their children smoking while mum swigs special brew are not stopped.

    The truancy officer in your piece said that children had to be in an educational establishment, this is not the case legally. Please check your facts with the charity education otherwise.

    I feel very offended and feel you owe home educators everywhere an apology.

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  • 15. At 7:13pm on 25 Mar 2009, nick_htid wrote:

    im 20 and hardly ever went to school! it is boring they teach u nothing u want to learn and i got treat like an idiot! i think the goverment forcing kids to go to school just pushes them to skip school even more! i always ran from the truant officers and the cops! but now im training as a mechanic and am learning business so school is not essential! the goverment have the wrong idea about school! truancy is really popular here in hull.

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  • 16. At 7:14pm on 25 Mar 2009, tigerprincessTeena wrote:

    we should stop there social security payments if they receive them, that woud sort it out, stop them claiming benefits full stop , they would soon drag their kids to work i can assure you ...

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  • 17. At 7:14pm on 25 Mar 2009, ali1bobs wrote:

    Truancy definitely begins with the parents. Parents need to have a positive attitude to schooling and to the professionals who aim to teach their children. Far too often parents verbally attack members of school staff and 'stick up' for their children even when their children are in the wrong and have behaved disgracefully. Parents need to work in partnership with schools.

    To tackle truancy the fixed penalty notice route and/or the court route is often too much of a lengthy process. Perhaps parents should have some of their benefits stopped if their children do not attend school? I'm sure that they would find a way to get them into school if that was the case!

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  • 18. At 7:15pm on 25 Mar 2009, tonyf1972 wrote:

    my son is at senior school and if he is not registered we have a text message sent to both m wife and myself advising us that he is absent from school

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  • 19. At 7:15pm on 25 Mar 2009, frg513gp wrote:

    The trouble is that because the education is seemingly free its value is abused because it is not considered as having a value.

    Rather than jailing the parents why don't you charge them for the days the child/children are not in school to the value of what education costs? The parents will then quickly realise the true cost of their childs education is not free but very expensive.
    Parents who afford private education are very aware of the true costs of such"!although such institutes still get truancy it is no where near the levels of the state system!

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  • 20. At 7:15pm on 25 Mar 2009, shanners2605 wrote:

    I am an Educational Welfare Officer in West Sussex.

    The report on tonight's show will no doubt make my work harder!!

    I have spent the last two days trying to talk to students about their attendance. They have no grasp of the trouble their parent are in if they don't go to school. What's worse is when I see parents who condone their child missing school.

    I am sorry that the previous blogger was bullied at school but ways of dealing with bullies have come a long way and, if you don't come to school how can it get sorted. The more you DON'T say anything, the more the bullies get away with it!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 21. At 7:15pm on 25 Mar 2009, Dickyweave wrote:

    When I was young, I was actually scared of the punishment being dished out: a slap from my father, the dap from my teachers. Bring back corporal punishment, it seemed to work.

    I do think the re-introduction of stocks in the town square or on the village green and a sack of rotten tomatoes would solve all our problems.

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  • 22. At 7:15pm on 25 Mar 2009, earthangel293 wrote:

    truancy has been around for years but society is different and many parents now dont take their responsibilities seriously and blame others for their childrens behaviour.

    If parents bring their children up to understand that they should respect grownups and do as they are asked then you would have less older children not at school.
    Children learn by what they see and hear, if a parent is firm but fair then the children grow up respectful.

    I dont agree with smacking/cane etc but society is just to nanny state to give kids the boundries they need.

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  • 23. At 7:16pm on 25 Mar 2009, frustratedteacher wrote:

    I'm a primary school teacher and get frustrated by children's absence due to parents lack of committment to their child's education. As a profession we then get accused of not doing our job when they get poor test and exam results. How can we if they are frequently off school to go shopping, celebrate birthdays and simply can't be bothered?!

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  • 24. At 7:16pm on 25 Mar 2009, merrySUSIEH wrote:

    Positive reinforcement is a suggestion...
    kids need an incentive to learn and stay in school. Earning holidays and/or money for good grades and attendance may be the way forward.

    Nick Howsam
    West Yorkshire

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  • 25. At 7:16pm on 25 Mar 2009, flyingfortess wrote:

    this is what happens when you let the goody tooshoes and human rights rule. you take the powers away from the parents and give them to the kids, then say if they dont go to school you the parent get done. but if you touch your kid i.e smack them or drag them to go to school you get done for this.. so what powers do the parents have to make the kids go to school none they can only ask them to go and if they say no there is not a lot you can do usless to wont a police record

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  • 26. At 7:16pm on 25 Mar 2009, KRH1974 wrote:

    I think children who repeatidly truant should be held in a School prison for a week, they have to rise early eat a proper breakfast lunch and tea, and sit in a classroom and learn dependant on their input they will receive "treats" such as tv, playstation internet time. This should change a childs mind set however the sentence can and should be prolonged if they continue to play up or not follow the rules set. Should be boot camp for drop out and really strict. Obviously their are parents that cannot control their children and need help.

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  • 27. At 7:16pm on 25 Mar 2009, perplexingSkippy wrote:

    For every truent child that any member of the public brings into the police station they should recive £5 paid for by the childs school.
    After several months it would be very difficult to find any truents and schools will improve lessons and disopline to prevent any future truency.

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  • 28. At 7:16pm on 25 Mar 2009, U13740940 wrote:

    The parents would deserve to be jailed if they did not make an effort for their child to be in school, whereas if the parent is getting their children up and giving their child a chance to get to school on time and the child is bunking off then prision should not be considered.
    I personally think that children are just seen as people that just bunk off and that is not fair on people like me and my friends who actually go to school every day.

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  • 29. At 7:17pm on 25 Mar 2009, kikki77 wrote:

    as a student at uni i believe they have a great idea take the register at different times throughout the day. not just first thing. if they don't have 95% attendance they are made to do national service this would then punish the child and the parents could be made to buy the uniform (for army) to punish them too. i do not believe they should go to prison - if the kids don't respect the parents enough to be made to go to school they won't bother about them goingf to prison. btw i'm 31 and knew loads who ended up "wagging" then girls ended up pregnant!! boys drunk!!

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  • 30. At 7:17pm on 25 Mar 2009, jokemor wrote:

    One way to get kids to go to school is to make the alternative worse.

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  • 31. At 7:17pm on 25 Mar 2009, CAROLMEYZ wrote:

    I am so Angry about this, Myself and My daughter who was 14 at the time moved to Cambridge, She waited 4 months for a place in a school,,,,,4 MONTHS WHO WENT TO PRISON FOR THIS? no one, She actually went back to Scotland because she couldnt get into a school her She started School in Scotland One day after she went Back to stay with her Grandmother, DONT TALK TO ME ABOUT TRUANCY,

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  • 32. At 7:17pm on 25 Mar 2009, Matchlockman wrote:

    It's clear that the liberal attitude to punishment of children is not working, bring back corporal punishment. It won't stop it completely but kids will soon find out what is right and wrong

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  • 33. At 7:17pm on 25 Mar 2009, Dizzy92 wrote:

    i am 16 and i left school last yr. i was bullied all my school life and nobody did anything about its wasnt my parents fault it was the school.
    so secondary school i didnt go to school my parents woke me up at 7 and used to fight with me draggin me out of bed and by the end they would just give up
    i properly had two and half years acturly being at school and they threated my parents but they didnt go ahead with it because it was the school fault.
    but now im in college got 100% attendance and im enjoying going cause it the course i want to do

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  • 34. At 7:17pm on 25 Mar 2009, Bekki16 wrote:

    I am 17, and i personally think it is not always the parents fault that their child is skipping school. in some cases as far as they know they are in school safe. i think the child should be punished and not the parent. it is not fair that innocent parents should suffer.
    on another side, some children are bullied and skip school to avoid this from happening. the bullying needs to be sorted but nowadays people are becoming too soft on children, they can get away with anything.

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  • 35. At 7:18pm on 25 Mar 2009, teliwotcha wrote:

    Some parents should be prosecuted, if they encourage their kids truancy, but not all. When I was at school my mother dropped me outside the school, I used to get my mark at registration and then catch the next bus into town.
    If lessons were more interesting kids would look forward to going to school.

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  • 36. At 7:18pm on 25 Mar 2009, lynzrussell wrote:

    I work with young offenders, alot of the young people I wirk with are not attending school or have been excluded. I think that alot of young people are lost from education at an early age due to the fact that they are not academic learners. I know I am a very practical person who does not learn well in an academic setting. I also spent alot of time out of school or being very disruptive when in school. If we could go back to vocational skills being taught at secondary school level this may inspire some non academic learners to stay in school as they may actually see a point to what they are doing and more importantly learn from it.

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  • 37. At 7:18pm on 25 Mar 2009, s-woodhead wrote:

    I think parents should walk there teenager to school if they do not attend and make sure they get signed in.

    Name Stephen


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  • 38. At 7:18pm on 25 Mar 2009, jes1964 wrote:

    I deal with truancy on a day to day basis and parents have a range of reasons as to why the child is not at school today!! I usually listen with a sympathetic ear and the other one is trying to read between the lines. I hopefully can spot the real issues like bullying, feeling unable to keep up with the school work etc... from those such as hes got a toothache we are off to the dentist later...
    I think if we dealt with the kids as well as the parents in terms of consequences then that might make them work as a team to achieve better attendance... Most parents just need support in how to manage their teenagers more appropriately and learn how to listen to them and not just send them to their rooms where usually they have their hearts desires at hand PC, TV mobile phone etc...
    Courts also needs to deal with the parents more harshly what is a £60:00 fine going to do to someone these days most don't pay it anyway...

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  • 39. At 7:18pm on 25 Mar 2009, jonny10_14 wrote:

    The one common denominator to the truancy problem is lack of discipline either from the parents themselves or the schools. if the child is truanting because they are being bullied, then the bully/s should face the consequencies becoming of such behaviour!

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  • 40. At 7:18pm on 25 Mar 2009, starrywiseowl wrote:

    To persuade parents to discipline their children perhaps a financial incentive would be to link attendance to school with receipt of child benefit.

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  • 41. At 7:18pm on 25 Mar 2009, rocker54 wrote:

    Andrew of Macclesfield. Its about time the government realised that not all youngsters are the same. The current ethos of education is that only those who are academic are of any worth. The rest of the youngsters, no matter how good they are at other skills feel worthless. No wonder they don't want to go to school. The curriculum and the systems of assessment must be reviewed to enable youngsters to follow their instincts and aptitudes, with pride, whether academic or not.

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  • 42. At 7:19pm on 25 Mar 2009, foxcommando wrote:

    I am a parent to 5 children and all but the last I have managed to bring up with respect the last one is a little sod as i can no longer punish him phisicaly.
    The goverment and Liberal namby pamby do gooders are to blame for removing the right of parents to punish their OWN child.
    Children these days have No fear of Parents or Teachers, bring back corpral punishment it did me no harm in the long term but it did instill in me fear and respect of my parents and teachers.
    And if this fails then lock the child up NOT the parent.

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  • 43. At 7:19pm on 25 Mar 2009, Ducks28 wrote:

    Sending Parents to Jail solves absoloutly nothing, teenagers are the cause and as a result should be punished.

    The real cause of this is the collapse in the local communities. Parents aren't getting enough support from the government, and I don't think that schools are doing enough to keep students in school either.

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  • 44. At 7:19pm on 25 Mar 2009, vina111 wrote:

    (daugter of Vina111)

    I am currently in my last year of school and i see so many people bunking all around me, its not even funny.

    I have been bullied a majority of my school life, and it got so bad i was pulled out of school and home schooled for a while. While i was being bullied i was off school a lot, not with bunking, i actually felt sick with the idea of being in school with THOSE people. It was horrible.
    I am now back at another school and am taking my GCSE's and expect A's and B's.

    I would never dream of bunking school. I am only off when i have a vallid reason. I know people who bunk school so much that the teachers barely even bother calling their name on the register. When they do show up they expect simpathy for not knowing what is happening when they dont deserve it. I don't think it's the parents fault if their kids skip. Punnish the kids, not the parents.

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  • 45. At 7:19pm on 25 Mar 2009, Jason wrote:

    Can we not send repeat offenders of truancy to a boarding school run by the army? Not only will this stop children from truanting in the first place but, it will also give them an insight into what prison might be like if they continued on their path to being illiterate and unemployable. I think a school year with the usual end of term breaks etc, under a disciplined regimen such as the army can offer, is really the only way forward.

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  • 46. At 7:19pm on 25 Mar 2009, johnwnormington wrote:

    Taking a parent to court is usually after all options have been exhaustive, and is often because the parents wont engage with the school or loacal education authority. This is always a last resort.
    My 2 options are link school attendance to child benefit as in France.
    Plan B is make school attendance non compulsory. Watch the parents complain that they can't get there children into a school!!!!!!!

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  • 47. At 7:19pm on 25 Mar 2009, aly94pink wrote:

    I am a teacher and an important question we need to ask is 'Why do children not want to be in school?' The testing culture schools are in and the emphasis on only academic subjects is making to many children feel like failures everyday. Would we do something everyday that made us feel useless?

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  • 48. At 7:19pm on 25 Mar 2009, davidjbentham wrote:

    Society has become to leant and has lost the art of discipline.

    Sending kids and parent to prison is not the answer, and monitoring them on a day to day basis is not working.

    I'm sure the armed forces could do with some raw recruits - going back to school would surely be a better proposition?

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  • 49. At 7:20pm on 25 Mar 2009, geniusHaamid wrote:

    I am 12 but have a lot of knowledge and my suggestion is the chiuldren should be able to see the disadvantages of unattending school so should the parents as even sir alan sugar said parents have a big part ofthis.
    I'm from Manchester and i attend Burnage mdia arts college.

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  • 50. At 7:20pm on 25 Mar 2009, busybusysue wrote:

    We need to make school a great place to be, then they wouldn't bunk off. We also need to break the cycle of deprivation, we have children bringing up children with no idea of discipline, hard work, self esteem etc etc. We need to give these people hope but it isn't all give give give they need to be forced to help themselves as well. The people who let their children bunk school are costing us a fortune, we need to clamp down on them but give them hope to break the cycle.

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  • 51. At 7:20pm on 25 Mar 2009, JanButterfly wrote:

    I am always amazed that in these truancy discussions no-one ever mentions that it is not ilegal for children to not go to school!! What the law says is that children under 16 should have full-time education; it does not specify where. There are many parents successfully home-educating their children all over the country and a support charity and network for them - see;

    Please let desperate parents with school-phobic children, or children who just don't fit into the system, know that there IS an alternative!

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  • 52. At 7:20pm on 25 Mar 2009, cougar2402 wrote:

    this is such a hard subject to find a resoloution to. i had a medical condition during school years and was bullied constantly everyday non stop. in my experience alot of kids are not at school because they are scared and have no one helping them to get through the day. school life is not always easy. i was off for a reason but many kids are off because they dont care. im not saying its the parents fault but they are to blame. if everyone stopped being aso soft especially this goverment then we might not have this problem. in my experience i had a written history for why i was not at school. i had a reason. search the history of these kids and determine why they dont go to school and then act, not only facing fines at the parent but at the child too. toughen up and we can give the country some guts!!!!!

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  • 53. At 7:20pm on 25 Mar 2009, gb4yzj wrote:

    A friend used to take her child to school and take hime to the door and make sure he went in, 9 times out of 10 when she got home she would have a phone call from the school to say he was not there.

    He used to go in one door and as soon as he could out of another. His parents got fined and was always in trouble for him not going but what else could they do.

    The biggest problems these days is that lessons are not interesting. There is too much emphasis on results that children get in tests. This makes children who are not top grade feel left out and are made to feel that they are not any good.

    Lets make every child at school feel that they are worth bothering with and make lessons interesting like when I was at school. I left school 39 years ago and never played truant and no I was not in Grammer school I was in a Secondary school.


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  • 54. At 7:20pm on 25 Mar 2009, goldbagpuss100 wrote:

    I left school from year 10 as i was bullied very very bad !!! My parents knew i wasn't at school cause i was at home with them.

    I don't think its the parents faults at all especially when it comes down to when your child is being bullied.

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  • 55. At 7:20pm on 25 Mar 2009, gjepson wrote:

    Sir Allan was absolutely correct, forget all of the pc lets have some straight talking. Get back to basics get the kids putting back into society, learn some respect and stop pussy footing about. If parents can't control the kids, i am sure there are some old proven systems that will.

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  • 56. At 7:20pm on 25 Mar 2009, smashingmum_of_3 wrote:

    My youngest son was a school refuser- his older brother ans sister never missed a days school, so it's not upbringing. Turned out he was being bullied and the school weren't dealing with it properly- I had to get tough to get results. He is still reluctant, but he's going. Support from school goes a long long way- take kids seriously and deal with problems within school as soon as they happen- they don't go away they just get worse. As for putting mum's in jail- what then happens to the kids, and who helps them deal with it?

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  • 57. At 7:20pm on 25 Mar 2009, colourfulLisa1984 wrote:

    What about the schools that see pupils storming off during the day. They can't stop the kids leaving and they are responsible for them during the day, parents and teachers can't win against childrens rights, even when some of the pupils won't take responsibility.

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  • 58. At 7:20pm on 25 Mar 2009, Mazblog wrote:

    As a parent I think it is definatley the parents responsibility to ensure their children go to school. I think the govt should deduct parents child benefit payments when children fail to turn up to attend school, without a valid reason. This is done with EMA payments for young people attending colleges and sixth forms.

    Technically, when children are NOT in full time education, their parents are not allowed to claim child benefit, if their child is 16 years of age....the same rules should apply. Then you'll put a stop to parents colluding with their kids!!

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  • 59. At 7:20pm on 25 Mar 2009, dwarner30uk wrote:

    All right Allwright, so how come you spent a day at Brooklands museum with your kids last Friday???

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  • 60. At 7:20pm on 25 Mar 2009, jollyfredmorganlloyd wrote:

    I dont believe in giving parents a jail sentence for their offsprings truancy.
    I think it would be more approppriate for the parent to have to attend school every day and sit alongside their child at every class until the child was prepared to attend school on their own on a daily basis.

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  • 61. At 7:20pm on 25 Mar 2009, oldmoany wrote:

    Perhaps some sort of alternative education system ought to be developed for those children who won't attend mainstream school or are incapable of handling conventional schooling. Not everyone is academic. Being able to teach life, practical or vocational skills may just help solve what has become an intractible problem for some parents, children or teachers. Jailing parents may work when it is proven that the parent is the cause is fine. But if it is simply wilful teenagers ignoring everything their parents say, then it is a waste of time.


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  • 62. At 7:21pm on 25 Mar 2009, SparkleJewels wrote:

    Get the absent, non maintenance paying Fathers to take the responsibility of getting THEIR children to school! I am sick to death of hearing about these downtrodden, poor & unsupported Mothers being punished, when yet again these irresponsible Fathers skip off to create more children, that they neither care for or take any responsibility for. If the courts ordered that they had to have at least the responsibility of getting their children to school, I bet a lot more of them would think twice about putting something on the end of it!
    Jailing the Mother cause other dependent children to go into care on many occasions. What is the point of that for goodness sake? Stop pussyfooting around with these bad 'Dads' & get them contributing in some way.
    Julie, Nottingham

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  • 63. At 7:21pm on 25 Mar 2009, samanthaa1991 wrote:

    I think that yes it should be the responsibility of the parents first. But, i don't think it is fair if a parent really is at their wits end with a child. For example, a single mother, with a 16 year old son who is bigger stronger and stroppy, how is she supposed to physically make sure that boy is at school? In this case she should be able to call the police. If the police think that it is serious enough to jail parents then perhaps they should think it is serious enough to step in. I don't think it is fair to just say that it is the parents fault. Give them a hand before u throw them in prision solving nothing!! Or perhaps they should look at why these kids don't want to go? Because classes are too big now and teachers have their hands tied. Bring back stronger punishment, and those that dont like it can go in the army like the old days. Im sure the kids will get themselves to school with that threat.... and the cocky ones that dont want to? let them be punished in the army. Send them to the front line.

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  • 64. At 7:21pm on 25 Mar 2009, martinmoloney wrote:

    This is typical government methodology, just like their efforts to reduce teen pregnancies, throw money at it or use the law like a sledgehammer! If education is the real issue, and possible zero tolerance of teen misbehaviour, isnt it worth actually helping the parents by offering govt. support in 5-day a week school camps or longer term community life education terms, eg to run alongside school terms.

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  • 65. At 7:21pm on 25 Mar 2009, supasarahlou09 wrote:

    i think its distgusting that parents get jailed because the kids bunk off school, i think the parents should take them to school. or if the kids bunk off from school well they should be the ones who go to jail.
    or they should make school more fun like fun lessons but your teaching them things so the kids will start to like to go school, because they like it.
    or the parents should wake them up or chuck cold water over them so they will get up.

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  • 66. At 7:21pm on 25 Mar 2009, suziewaite wrote:

    If a child is truanting because they just don’t want to go to school I think they should be made to do hard working manual jobs that wouldn’t necessary need any qualifications like litter collecting or street sweeping for at least a weekend each time they truant and I am sure they would think twice in the future

    I don’t think parents should be jailed my son was being bullied I was told time and time again that there was nothing they could or would be able to do and for this reason we had to drag him into school time and time again, he gained no qualifications as he spent most of his time in fear.

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  • 67. At 7:21pm on 25 Mar 2009, aves17 wrote:

    Leave the parents alone!!! Dumb kids that are that stupid that they don't realise they should go to school, deserve everything they get in there adult lives. This should include the jail term that the parents are threatened with. If i knew that my first 2 months after my 16th or 18th birthday were going to be spent behind bars, i would get my ass to school!!
    John Avo. Ellesmere Port. Cheshire

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  • 68. At 7:21pm on 25 Mar 2009, Europa1969 wrote:

    Whereas the responsibility for a childs whereabouts is with the parents and then with the school if the child is delivered.

    The parents and school cannot 'force' the child to go or stay at school because that would infringe their 'human rights'.

    If a system was developed so that the childs actions, attendance and behaviour whilst school age were to be reflected in any benefits that the child hoped to get before any contibutions had been made through working. This might concentrate their mind in all areas of school life.

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  • 69. At 7:21pm on 25 Mar 2009, geniusHaamid wrote:

    Another suggestion is school must be morefun, if it was fun the children would go, wouldn't they?

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  • 70. At 7:21pm on 25 Mar 2009, Sephy13 wrote:

    I think the problem with schools is that they don't ask the child in question why they were truanting in the first place, and actually listen to the child.

    I was always a well behaved child in school, got top marks in classes, a top student. However when I went into secondary school that changed. I had both students and teachers bullying me to a point where I felt trapped and afraid. The only way I could cope was to skip classes where I was being tormented. None of the teachers ever listened to my problems or tried to help - which I believe is how my problem got out of control. I got away with it for so long, I just wished somebody tried to stop me before it got out of hand. I ended up having to move school, where I ended up doing well in my standard grades. Now I'm about to go to uni, where I hope to do well.

    No matter if it is someone in a situation like my own, or a kid who's just generally lazy and troublemaking, it is the schools responsibility make kids go. Parents can only do so much, and should not be punished for their childs mistakes. Putting parents in jail will only worsen the problem, as then the child will not have someone there to support them.

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  • 71. At 7:22pm on 25 Mar 2009, AndyRossi wrote:

    I had a disciplined upbringing and I know that the majority of families don't have that these days. Parents not being able to smack their child / teenager is one of the causes of current youth situations. Also the lack of youth services through government cuts, the closure of community centres and lack of available spending has lead to small charities begging for grants to run activities for the younger generation.

    The UK should bring back National Service at 17 if school leavers don't go on to higher education. They should also replace young offenders centres etc with national service centres (like lads army) where they have to go for a fixed amount of time or they reach a certain level where they earn the right be come back into the community. They need to understand that their behavior is not acceptable and as part of that know that they need to Earn their right back.

    I've dealt with a lot of young offenders and the threat of community service (it doesn't work, they don't go), young offenders centres (school for criminals) or prison (food and accommodation with few rehabilitation services) doesn't mean anything to them. They just don't care.

    the government need to take action as parents don't seem to be.

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  • 72. At 7:22pm on 25 Mar 2009, touichthesky wrote:

    Try looking at the New York City regime. No child is allowed to leave school at the end of the day or during the day without parent supervision, collecting them, taking them home or immediately taking them to a supervised 'park' programme. No one else is allowed to collect them other than parents unless advanced warning has been given to the school. If more than 2 children are seen on the streets during the day or night, police are allowed to approach them and ask why they are there, take them home or contact their parents who are made responsible for them. No gathering of 'kids' is allowed in New York City, on street corners, shops, malls, parks etc. At all times children must be supervised, parents or park supervisors undertaking programmes. Not only is this a city rule, but it is regarded by the city as the norm, everyone expects this. Also if there is any trouble then 'samaritans' (individuals) are ready to approach to help, not as in the UK where 'walk on the other side' is the norm. The ownership or carrying of a firearm carries an automatic heavy prison sentence, no appeal is available for this, likewise with knife crime. All carry an automatic heavy prison sentence, the public accept this as do the lawyers. No plea is accepted. Would this not stop truency in this country?

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  • 73. At 7:22pm on 25 Mar 2009, batemanmjr wrote:

    it really annoys me that a lot of programs on tv seem to reward bad sending kids on trips abroad on safaris etc when tyey have played up at school or got asbos. you dont see kids that have not played up getting rewards.maybe if this was the case kids playing truant would think again.
    the saying is crime doesnt pay. on tv it seems to

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  • 74. At 7:23pm on 25 Mar 2009, fluffyduffy123 wrote:

    Yes, I think the blame is with the Parents the problem with most parents today is they do not have time for the kids, play or disipline. I have 2 grown boys and they would have thought it worst coming home to me to get told off, rather than any authority figure, teacher, police etc.
    This is because I took time for my kids, it's not an easy job and parents give in to easy, and this grows up with them, knowing that whatever they do, being rude, not going to school, because they have got away with things in the pass, because of no disipline they don't bother.
    The answer is, if you disipline children, and say no, that should mean no, not give in 5 mins later because they are getting on our nerves, and anything for a quite life. IT DOES NOT WORK LIKE THAT. So start off as you mean to go on and make them do what you say and DO NOT give in. Its not easy but what is in life.

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  • 75. At 7:23pm on 25 Mar 2009, geniusHaamid wrote:

    We need to love and care for children as teens leave their family everyday actually thousands do.

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  • 76. At 7:23pm on 25 Mar 2009, herbawil wrote:

    Having had to deal with a fourteen-sixteen year old boy who refused to go to school, and whom the children's panel would not be involved with because he would soon be of leaving age, we suggest a return to the "approved school" system, where a child CANNOT leave the school grounds unless allowed to do so. They could be weekly boarders or day schools, but the child has to realise that schooling is a legal requirement and they cannot decide that they just don't want to go. To imprison a parent who is obviously trying to ensure attendance at school is so totally abhorrent. Do the people who make these kind of laws have children and if so, are they looked after by "staff members" of the household, because I can assure anyone that if a teenager decides they do not want to go to school, it is almost impossible to enforce. Take them into school and they leave as soon as your back is turned. It is heartbreaking for a parent and creates an awful lot of animosity in the family. A short, sharp shock is what most of these children/young adults need.

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  • 77. At 7:23pm on 25 Mar 2009, happyoneshowviewer wrote:

    I think it is a mistake to presume that all children who are playing truant, either with or wothout a parent in attendance, are simply chosing to stop off rather then attend and are all time wasters.

    Perhaps we should address the question of why do children play truant?

    2 of my 3 children never played truant but my 3rd child point blank refused to go in to school.We found out that he was being subjected to extreme bullying but he refused to tell us exactly what was going on.He changed from a happy, care free teen to a depressed anxious child over a period of several months.

    In spite of going in to the school and discussing the problem with the Headteacher, numerous teachres and the school doctor the problem was not resolved and we ended up having to arrange for our son to be 'home schooled'.

    Not every child who refuses to attend school should be labelled as just not wanting to go to school!

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  • 78. At 7:23pm on 25 Mar 2009, biggsie_uk wrote:

    My suggestion would be to count up the days of truancy ,arrest these kids and put them in boot camp in their summer holidays.
    10 days truancy,10 days boot camp.

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  • 79. At 7:23pm on 25 Mar 2009, GengisMike wrote:

    I believe that Sir Alan is correct, it is down to parents to instill the discipline. Perhaps if we hit hem in the pocket by withdrawing child benefit for persistent offenders and in the case of the child make it clear that their future entitlement to benefits when they grow up will be affected by their actions now.Lets face it if you do not pay into the system by following the rules of society, why should you be entitled to you have the right to draw out cash from the system.

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  • 80. At 7:23pm on 25 Mar 2009, zxcv73 wrote:

    I have had a similar problem as the lady in tonight's program but was given six months conditional discharge, on condition things improved. (Which they didn't) This still did not solve the problem and I now also have a criminal record. Every case should be assessed to determine who is at fault and if proven that the parents have made an effort, then the child concerned should be given a short sharp shock with juvenile detention as an option.

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  • 81. At 7:23pm on 25 Mar 2009, Sian-Marie Jenkins wrote:

    I am embarrassed to admit this now but I was probably the world's worst truant. I was sent to a senior school I didn't want to go to. Stated to my parents that if they sent me there I wouldn't go and thus a 5 year battle ensued.

    The only time I put in a full week at school was the week my father took off as holiday and went with me (and I mean all day every day to all my lessons), however, the following week he went back to work and I went back to bunking off.

    Now I am not saying this to look big nor am I proud but it proves the point that if a child is determined not to go to school, they won't go and in many cases there isn't a great deal the parents can do.

    How you make a child like me go to school is the 60 million dollar question. Incentives or more to the point bribary won't work and to be honest if they'd put my mother in gaol would have just delighted me, so not much incentive there either.

    The system needs to support parents with teenagers like me, not just threaten them. Maybe looking at alternative education that is more suited the child's needs is something that can be looked at, such as vocational training and apprenticeships etc.

    Sian-Marie Jenkins
    PS: Now A-Level Educated through nightschool

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  • 82. At 7:23pm on 25 Mar 2009, secretTony wrote:

    I am the same age as sir Alan.

    Today a parent can be fined £50 for child truancy even when they deliver their child to the school and the child is in school all day.

    If the child does not arrive at the classroom at the correct time (maybe hanging around in the corridor) then the child is marked truent and the parent is fined. How can a parent ensure the child is at the classroom unless the parent is at school all day with the child.

    I was asked to stay at school all day, how crazy is this. I wouldn't be able to go to work.

    Its a lot different these days!

    Richard Harrison.

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  • 83. At 7:23pm on 25 Mar 2009, Martyrox wrote:

    There aren't many people who could say that they enjoyed everyday of school and didn't have some days when they seriously wished they weren't there. School can be an awful institution, especially for shy and nervous people like myself. I'm now 18, and I have spent most of my life in state education, and I can honesty say that most of the experiences I had there were terrible. Last year I started 6th form in a private school, and it has been the best two years of my life. The conclusions from my experiences are simple, make state schools better. I'm now in a place were excellence is encouraged, not condoned and seen as 'weird'. We need a change of attitude not only in schools, but in the whole of society. Then children can really enjoy school like they should, and then there would be no truancy.

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  • 84. At 7:24pm on 25 Mar 2009, cheekaah09 wrote:

    i am also 17 and i used to bunk of school and i truelly regret it as i had alot of potential and was always in the top set. Unfortunately for me i ran into the wrong group of people and i let them brain wash me into bunking of school, which was not my mothers problem.... Tell me how a mother of 8 is supposed to watch all of her children on her own! was my mothers responsibilty to wake me up for school and make sure i left the house but how is she supposed to control where i go from there!...personally i blame the schools and obviously myself!...My friend goes to a private school which has gates at every entrance so it is practically impossible for anyone to bunk as each gate is closed once lessons have started and they are guarded! If my school had closed gates i wouldnt have been able to bunk....In another situation you can only blaim yourselves as somtimes you dont even make it to your school and instead wonder of to shopping centres.....I think it is completely incorrect to blaim parents infact i think if a child is truanting then they should be punished, a good idea would be to put them on a tag, this will allow parents to know where their child is...How it would work is once they leave the house the parent activates the tag to make sure they get to school at the required time and once they are home to turn it will never be able to escape school and the parents can only then be blamed if they dont activate and deactivate at the correct times!

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  • 85. At 7:24pm on 25 Mar 2009, poshfeefee wrote:

    I am a Teacher in a small unit - @10-14 pupils Year 7 -11. Time and time again Pupils arrive who have been unsuccessful in a large Mainstream setting - for a variety of reasons.

    Mainstream is not always suitable for all young people. Schools need to be looking more at the provioson that is on offer for young people who sometimes just need 'small' situations, where they feel valued and safe.

    Parents are crucial in the part they play, but before Court action and Parenting orders are issued schools need to ensure they understand the 'true' issues and reasoins fro non- attendance.

    In my experience this is not always happening.

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  • 86. At 7:24pm on 25 Mar 2009, luckysammy-j wrote:

    I don't have children m self, however I have been at school and NEVER played truant. I wouldn't dare my parents would have killed me if I had.
    I think the government have to look seriously at what they are doing. They stop parents from punishing their children, or they go to prison if they do. Therefore the children have no respect for their parents. Now they punish parents if the Children aren't in school, but if there is no discipline in the home how can the parents get the children into school.
    My Father would have kicked my butt into school everyday if I was found 'bunking off' he still would now and I'm nearly 30!!!! I think the government need to look at what they are causing, parents are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

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  • 87. At 7:24pm on 25 Mar 2009, Lynneogilvie wrote:

    I think putting the parents in jail is not solving the problem. hit the parents where it hurts most. dock their government family allowance for each child per day that they do not attend school. They will soon make their kids attend. And for the children for everyday that they dont attend give them a form of supervised community service at the weekends, something thats definately not enjoyable. Put them off for life!

    Or extend their school term by how many day they are due back

    Lynne Ogilvie

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  • 88. At 7:25pm on 25 Mar 2009, seacasa wrote:

    I am the mother of a 12 year old daughter who never wants to get up and go to school. This started when she was in the reception class. She is classed as Gifted and Talented and was bored rigid at school for the first 3 years, until we moved her to a different school. Despite contacting the original schools headteacher every week and complaining to the education department, we received NO help whatsoever and she became more and more reluctant to go to school. the new school was Much better, but by this time she had got into bad habits. She took the 11plus and blitzed it and opted to go to the top grammar school in the area, hoping that the work would prove to be more challenging. Sadly, year 7 seems to be mainly recapping what has already been learned and she is now back to not wanting to get up or go to school. We've been reported to the EWO, I have physically Dragged her out of bed some mornings, but I can not drag her all the way to the car, forcefully restrain her, drive her to school, manhandle her into the school and through the doors! I have MS and have another daughter to get to school as well. Dragging ME over the coals is NOT helpful and is in no way constructive. It is down to the school to engage my daughter in challenging work which makes her feel a sense of achievement and worth. I am sick of people pointing the finger at me, as I do all that is humanly possible to get her to school. If I was to drag her kicking and screaming into the school, I would most probably be reported to social services! The bleeding hearts have removed so much authority from parents and schools that the kids know damn well that any punishment is going to be weak and ineffective. She's had detentions and it doesn't bother her in the slightest. YOU all seem to think it's so easy, so YOU tell me how the hell I'm supposed to get her to school on time every day.

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  • 89. At 7:25pm on 25 Mar 2009, jay1950 wrote:

    Having bought up 2 children on my own I feel that when every effort has been made by a parent to get there children to school there should be a contact number where they can call and advise the appropriate authorities there prblem. In the case where the parents take themshopping on a scholl day they should be prosecuted.

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  • 90. At 7:25pm on 25 Mar 2009, profoundHeather wrote:

    I do agree with Sir Alan to a certain extent that parents should take responsibility for their childrens school attendance, my parents did lay down the law when I was younger, however I do not think they should be jailed. This is defeating the object of trying to get the child to understand that school is important. When their parent is arrested for the truency the child thinks they are untouchable. They are not worried because they know they are too young to be punished with jail. If they do not care about attending school then they are likely to not feel concerned their parent has gone to jail. The case you showed this evening when the child did listen when his mother was threatned with jail would suggest it works for a small minority, but what I think needs to be done is educating children that school is important to their future. Shock tactics could work? I think children today know they have so many rights that they can get away with pretty much everything. I understood when I was younger that school was important, children today should be educated on this.


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  • 91. At 7:25pm on 25 Mar 2009, OriginalSmartyPants wrote:

    I'm 18 years old, I've never bunked off school or college and really wouldn't like to do it because I just find it boring because I wouldn't have anything to do.

    I think that it should be up to the parents to know where their child is but at the same time I don't think that they should be prosecuted for their child bunkning off school, if they leave them at the gate their work is done, it is then up to the school to ensure that the child stays on the school grounds.

    I think that these experts should look at the reasons why these children may be bunking off school - ever thought of that?? They might have trouble with teachers or bullies, and yes there are proper ways of dealing with it but some children or young people just don't have the courage or confidence to seek the right help. Or may be they are just bored. We need to look at the reasons why before jumping to conclusions..

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  • 92. At 7:25pm on 25 Mar 2009, Bekki16 wrote:

    Bekki, Honington

    Thing is, nowadays children are taking education for granted, because it is free and compulsory they are getting bored easily. with so much technology these days children are lacking the enthusiasm because computers and technology around them can do most if not all the work for them. Although i still disagree that the parents are all to blame when it comes to skipping school. children have minds as well.

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  • 93. At 7:25pm on 25 Mar 2009, plzthnxbai wrote:

    I agree that the child benefit should be stopped if parents fail to send their children to school. Truancy is a problem for communites but also a lot of these so called truants parents know they are not in school. Its these parents that cant/wont take control of their children and probably never took their children to school in the primary years. Now these children are older they dont think its necessary to attend school five days a week.
    Parents who cooperate with education officers and who are genuinely trying to get their children to attend school are rarely prosecuted, its the ignorant ones who do not value education and think people are out to get them and who flaut the law in more ways than one who are prosecuted.
    Your child should be in school, its the law!

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  • 94. At 7:25pm on 25 Mar 2009, happyinfluence wrote:

    No, you can't blame the parents, I have a 6ft 15 year old son who works out every day......How do I get him to school !!! I can not use physical strength..he is twice as big as me !!! An answer to the statement teach them when they are young that they have to go to school.........We did but HE decided at 15 that he knew best..........So pray tell me how is this the parents fault and How do I get him to school if anyone has the answer I would love to hear it......He is 15 so talking just doesn't work...he won't listen..... Oh and I have taken away everything he owns and he is living in the shed...(warm and Sheltered) until he decides to go to school.........
    Sir Alan who blames parents I like to know if your comment still stands !!!!!!!!
    Lisa Hampshire

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  • 95. At 7:26pm on 25 Mar 2009, statisticsarelies wrote:

    I went to one of the most highly achieving schools in the country, and only just about managed to finish my A-levels. From experience i have found that the education system in this country is so desperately lacking in every respect that the pupils are so frustrated and bored by the lack of oppertunities, challenges and activities that they would rather be anywhere else but at school. From personal experience i also know this is one of the many reasons that teenagers turn to drink and drugs: because they make being bored seem okay. When in fact what they really need is the guidance to find out where their talents lie, and find their place in the community. Rather than making the governments statistics appear better.

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  • 96. At 7:26pm on 25 Mar 2009, Nicholas Weightman wrote:

    I don't think parents should be held responsible for children who are Truanting. The children responsible should perhaps be sent to "national service" bootcamp type scheme for kids who Truant with a 1950's style of living, it will do them good :)

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  • 97. At 7:26pm on 25 Mar 2009, Mia-Sula wrote:

    Send all the truants to an African village to live & work and see how all the children are desperate to go to school. On there return encourage them to fund raise & get involved with supporting the children they met. That will sort them out !

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  • 98. At 7:26pm on 25 Mar 2009, yatesyboy wrote:

    I am a mother of an 18 year old girl. I believe that each case like everything else has to be taken on it's inidviduality. My daughter truant from school and i did not get to know from the school until anything up to 9 (yes i did mean nine) months after the event. No matter how many times i told the school to ring me straight away.

    Just to show how useless the school is for contacting parents. They still send me text messages now, 2 years after she left school to say that the school reports are due, the school is shut for snow and the parents evenings are starting. How ludicrous.

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  • 99. At 7:26pm on 25 Mar 2009, johnipi wrote:

    I think the problem here is that the law forces kids to go to school. Nobody likes being forced to do anything and children truanting school are doing it as a way of rebelling.

    The law should not punish the parent because in most cases they have done nothing wrong and are trying their best to get their child back to school.

    If you don't like a job your doing then you can resign and try and find a new job but children who don't like school don't have this choice.

    They should give children more choices when it comes to schooling so they can get the most from it. A lot of the stuff taught at school, children find boring because it doesn't interest them. If they gave children more choices about what they are taught they could find something that they enjoy and interests them and then they will have less of a reason to skip school.

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  • 100. At 7:26pm on 25 Mar 2009, jes1964 wrote:

    Education Welfare Officers deal with not only truancy but the causes of this which stem from the home and school environment. When you try to get assistance for a family in crisis you try talking to social workers who state what can we do... Well here is a thought what about dealing with matters on a preventative level rather than one that is at crisis point. May be then we will catch young people at a more bearable level and be able to turn them around in a positive fashion other then letting it drag onto the courts and beyond when its obviously too late another young person becoming a burden and more bad press..

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  • 101. At 7:26pm on 25 Mar 2009, sparkyelectroman wrote:

    Regarding truancy and detention at school we could adopt the Italian model wheras all offenders (after an agreed number of warnings) are back classed a year and back classed again if repeat offending continues until all school terms exams are completed. This could mean people are still at school untill their late teens

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  • 102. At 7:27pm on 25 Mar 2009, Disciplinist wrote:

    The problem of truancy, violence, muggings, gangs, etc. I believe is all down to one thing - the lack of discipline. Previously such measures as the cane in schools and the birch for crimes of physical violence kept the number of incidents to a much lower level than we have today. Pupils playing truant, misbehaving badly or being insolent or violent should be caned.
    Youths dishing out physical violence should have the birch as part of their punishment.
    Incidentally I had the cane several times when I was at school!

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  • 103. At 7:27pm on 25 Mar 2009, its-me-mrs-b wrote:

    We make sure our child gets to school and hope that he remains safe in their care, but the school doesn't stop him from leaving and doesn't inform us until a week later, by letter, that he has been absent. Despite our request for sanctions from school as well as home for his truancy there is none - he has not offended at school!!! There is no provision in place to keep children in school, despite our desire for this to happen. Are we to be prosecuted for the school's inability to keep our child safe on their premises??

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  • 104. At 7:27pm on 25 Mar 2009, timrose08 wrote:

    I would look at the attendance record of mp's. ( When ever I see parliament it looks empty).
    Their parents should be sent a rude letter and if the MP continues to be absent their parents should be locked up.
    ie our political leaders seem to set a bad attendace example. They certainly set a bad behaviour example at PM question time being very rude to each other. Their behaviour is worse than any class or student.

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  • 105. At 7:28pm on 25 Mar 2009, nitahelenb wrote:

    My grand daughter does not always attend school. My daughter is at her wits end.
    The journey to school is by school coach which occasionally is missed. On those days I get a phone call before 8 am to take my grand daughter to school. If there is not too much traffic this takes about half hour. My daughter does not have a car and has to take my grand -son to school (in walking distance). My grand daughter is at this school because she had a problem at a local school. I understand her work at school is quite good (when she does it). She looks older than her 14 years. I do not know how my daughter can control this situation more than she does. My grand daughter does have a school counsellor.
    I have to add that this is a one parent family even though my grand daughter does see her father. There are many other aspects to this case but attendance at school is the important issue.

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  • 106. At 7:29pm on 25 Mar 2009, tigerbeezlebub wrote:

    I have watched so many of these reports on parents jailed for their children's truancy without any real information about the people this is happening to.

    How many, or what percentage, of these parents are women? It seems to me that absent fathers very rarely get in to trouble for their children's behaviour.

    My sister had perfect children when she was in the traditional two parent family but when her husband walked out she was emotionally and financially crushed. Her children followed the well worn path of blaming their mother, behaving badly and making her life a living hell.

    Their father, and his new wife were seen as brilliant by the kids because they treated them like adults - bought them drinks (aged 13) took them to pubs and clubs and allowed them to smoke. My sister had no control over what happened to her children, no say, only the blame when they failed to get to school in the morning because they had a hangover, or worse. Even though she had to be at work.

    One of my nieces is now 17 and treats her mother slightly better as she (the niece) now has a baby, having dropped out of school.

    My sister would be the first to admit that she failed as a parent. She was depressed, unwell, and competing with a 'cool' stepmother who had significantly more money than her. (around 8 x her income)but she would be the one to be jailed.

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  • 107. At 7:29pm on 25 Mar 2009, jazzjuice wrote:

    Not once during the show was Home education mentioned. Not all children are suited to a school education and it is the parents responsibility to provide a childs education whether this be at hoe or school.

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  • 108. At 7:29pm on 25 Mar 2009, chickenmamma wrote:

    I hope the person suggesting that members of the public kidnap children in order to force them to a school is joking. Children who are being educated perfectly legally outside school would be badly effected not to mention what a terrible thing it is to advocate it of itself. Many children are home educated or have home tutors or have longer school holidays from their private schools.

    As for bullying being better dealt with - who are you kidding? 16 children commit suicide a year because of bullying. I wouldn't take that risk with my child if they were depressed.


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  • 109. At 7:29pm on 25 Mar 2009, digitimbo wrote:

    i believe that a lot of truency could be stopped if child allowance was kept from the parents for the child that stays away from school

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  • 110. At 7:29pm on 25 Mar 2009, gardenia17 wrote:

    Stop paying any sort of benefit to the truant families.........I think that would make the parents make sure the children were in school. While you're at it make the benefit claimers work for their benefit, keeping parks clean and tidy, cleaning up the area where they live...Stop handing out money for nothing. England has become a joke. Lets get our pride back!

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  • 111. At 7:29pm on 25 Mar 2009, royalWingut wrote:

    Certainly send truants mother's to prison as a final solution. First though - stop their Child Benefit for any period of truancy - the public pay parents to bring up their children and have the right to expect that they should do so to society's norms - if they don't withdraw the payment - then watch truancy rates fall.

    We have bred a class of under-privileged children by giving lone parents accommodation and benefits on which to live without their being able to provide properly for their offspring, we should reverse this policy immediately and pay child benefit only for the first child.

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  • 112. At 7:30pm on 25 Mar 2009, philosophicalMillie wrote:

    Like the concerns regarding young people carrying knives, truancy is not committed by the majority, but we need to address the rising trends in both.
    If the parents cannot provide the necessary boundaries for persistent truants, then we must have systems in place for the authoprities to do so.
    Compulsory Bootcamps sound harsh, but perhaps we need them? They are certainly a better option that a Young Offenders Institute! Young people need and want boundaries. They rely on adults to take responsibility and control, if parents, for whatever reason, are unable to cope and ask for assistance then it should be provided by the authorities. If this is unsuccessful, then the young person could then be offered the choice of going to school or to go to bootcamp! No other options!
    If parents are just not bothering being responsible parents and don't care, then they are the one's that should be held accountable.
    Obviously, each case needs to be judged on it's own merits.

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  • 113. At 7:30pm on 25 Mar 2009, grannyjacky wrote:

    Jailing parents is not the answer. Children play truant because they can. If it was made more difficult for them when they were caught they may think twice next time.
    Open up the old detention centres which were used in the 60's. 1 week for the first offence then extended periods if they persist in playing truant.
    Most children would not want to go back, school would be the easier option.
    Here they could also find out about a childs reasons for not going to school, like bullying, and provide professional help.

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  • 114. At 7:30pm on 25 Mar 2009, immandyflyme wrote:

    I agree with Alan Sugar's comments on truancy. The responsibility lies with parents to ensure their child/childrens attendance at school. I don't agree that jailing the parents is a solution as many children these days are from one-parent families and jailing the 'one-parent' parent will cause more problems than it solves.
    A simple solution would be to re-introduce corporal punishment in schools. It never did me any harm and taught me a very simple lesson: step out of line and you take the consequences.
    Sadly with the abolishment of corporal punishment in schools, this has allowed the lunatics to take over the asylum.

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  • 115. At 7:30pm on 25 Mar 2009, SophieCorrine wrote:

    Why punish the parents.. ok yes some parents do need a good nudge in the right direction, but its the truent thats the problem, how do we solve it? Round them up and stick them all in Boarding schools! - punishments all round then, parents need to pay for it (the fine), truent gets to live at school. =S

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  • 116. At 7:30pm on 25 Mar 2009, rkitto1 wrote:

    What about for every day you miss school without a good reason you miss one day of social security benefits (unemployment benefit) once you qualify for these. As you will need school qualifications to succeed in life, this seems to make the punishment fit the crime directly. Parents, I'm sure, would make a bigger effort to ensure their children go to school.

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  • 117. At 7:30pm on 25 Mar 2009, Mazblog wrote:

    kids should not be allowed to dictate to parents about what they like and dislike...they are kids....parents are the adults!!! Any parents who allows their kids to dictate to them is in my opinion....a failed parent....

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  • 118. At 7:31pm on 25 Mar 2009, lostBanner wrote:

    I am lost Banner and new to blogging but this topic has inspired me to join in the debate. I feel that parents who abdicate their responsibility of ensuring their child attends full-time education should forfit their child benefit payments. If we remove the so called hand outs I'm sure parents would soon ensure that their child attended school each and every day. Every parent recieves this payment so if parents accept the responsibility of being a parent payments continue, fail as a parent and payment stops.......

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  • 119. At 7:31pm on 25 Mar 2009, djSqueaky wrote:

    To follow on from the good work Lycia is doing in Liverpool, why not take a weeks child allowance from the family every day the child plays truant. I know it's a difficult time at the moment with the 'credit crunch', but truancy is rife and needs to be addressed. Putting a parent in prison is only fueling the problem.

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  • 120. At 7:31pm on 25 Mar 2009, dorsetdumplin wrote:

    My Two eldest children were struck down with a really bad stomach bug a few weeks ago. As a result my children were told not to return to school for 48hrs after the last time they'd been sick, this ment that they were both off school for an entire week and during their last day at home they were both bright as a button and could have easily spent the day working around the shops with me .
    My point is, The government want to crack down on children playing truant but on the other hand the school encourage children to stay away as much as possible when they claim to be ill.
    As soon as you report your child ill, as a responsible parent you do make sure your child is well for 48hrs before returning but then worry that their absence rate will be bought into question. Surely it would be a good idea if the parents were asked to supply a sick note as proof of the illness? As adults its expected in the work place so why not schools?
    As a parent i do sometimes feel that i can't do right for being wrong!

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  • 121. At 7:31pm on 25 Mar 2009, wendy_p wrote:

    I agree with several of the comments already voiced. A form of boarding-school arrangement for persistent truancy offenders would be a good, sustainable and fairly easily implemented alternative. Obviously a pre-requisite would have to be some form of counselling to find the reason for the truancy and only "board" appropriately.

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  • 122. At 7:31pm on 25 Mar 2009, greatPeterMan wrote:

    Truancy is a social problem that needs much more attention. The hugely negative impact to the individuals development is clear. the situation needs to be monitored and recorded more closely with appropriate intervention for each individuals situation.

    Closer communication between education, parents, youth groups and social services will help. There needs to be a lead professional, perhaps a more specilaised role for social workers.

    A social worker could have a caseload of children, who have been highlighted as frequent truants, an assesment would be carried out, and appropraite intervention according to their unique situation, whether it be Bullying, parents, peer pressure etc....

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  • 123. At 7:32pm on 25 Mar 2009, gazmking wrote:

    Hello The one Show
    Here is the situation regarding truancy and no one ever seems to look at these things these days.
    First, why do "some" kids bunk off school? Because, they find it boring, it’s that simple. I’m a professional musician who ran a student motivational program internationally for five years including in the US. In one year we saw over 12,000 students and the overall consensus to why they would miss school was “Boring” very few seem t bring up the subject of bullies, although we know that one as well.

    Second lets blame the parents, that’s always a good escape clause but the parents are no longer allowed to discipline their kids thanks to the human rights people and government.

    So back in the day when we were kids and Im only 38, and had a bad school report and were terrified of the consequences i.e. being kept in for the summer holidays, now certain kids attitude is “well bad report, what you going to do about it” you give me a hard time and I’ll call the Police.

    My brother is a fifteen year Police veteran in the UK and every week they go out to Kids who have called the Police on parents because they are not getting their own way. So if anyone thinks it doesn’t happen it does.

    A parent takes a kid to school, drops him or her off, she goes in, runs out the back and is gone for the day, but it’s still the parents fault.

    You can work it out for yourself I’m sure. We constantly watch things on TV that blame everyone except the main culprits, the government and their group of people around them that don’t actually have to deal with these problems personally themselves.

    School should and can be cool

    That’s as short as I could write, thank you for reading

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  • 124. At 7:32pm on 25 Mar 2009, Jeanieholmes wrote:

    I am a retired teacher. I often visit my nearest town ,which is Hull. I am staggered at the number of children, of all ages,who are with their parents[usually their Mum] shopping during school time. On two occasions I have stopped the Community Police officers to tell them of my concerns.They did inform me that one school had done a truancy sweep earlier that day.I think that 'on the spot ' fines could be effective. I like the idea of your truancy officers. Jean East Yorkshire

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  • 125. At 7:33pm on 25 Mar 2009, interceptoriii wrote:

    How do you control a 14 year old who is 6ft 2" and 15 stone i.e. well built??? In todays culture 'kids' have no respect for adults, they see how their mates behave and are led in the wrong direction.
    There are no School deterrants.
    In my day (1970-80's) kids respected adults and there was the real threat of the cane at school, or teachers throwing board rubbers at misbehaving students. This provided kids with a valuable lesson and helped ensure their behaviour at home was good, in conjunction with the parents control.
    Nowadays kids do not learn any respect at school, teachers are not ALLOWED to properly disipline students because of the human rights act.
    DON'T PASS THIS ALL BACK TO THE PARENTS. I tried many times to get my son into school, but the lack of respect that kids have for adults is now a cultural issue, plus the fact he was physically bigger than me and has on more than one occasion used this to settle any arguments!

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  • 126. At 7:34pm on 25 Mar 2009, clare_lou wrote:

    i get really annoued with all these people who citicise the education system. dont you think if things could be changed they would!!!

    for all of you moaning- go and work in a school for a couple of days and out up with the rubbish and rudeness that comes out of a childs mouth as a result of how they are allowed to talk to their parents.

    the nice kids are getting far and few between, and this is done to parents.

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  • 127. At 7:34pm on 25 Mar 2009, bobbyvowles wrote:

    To qualify for my pension, I have to pay
    a minimum number of National Insurance
    contributions. If not I get a reduced pension.

    Why not pay a reduced unemployment benefit in relation to the number of days
    missed at school.

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  • 128. At 7:35pm on 25 Mar 2009, Mataranka wrote:

    I taught literacy in a YOI for six years The age group was from 13 to 18 years. All except one of my pupils had bunked off on a regular basis.The reason they gave was boredom and the fact that they did not want to be in school. The new initiative to make them stay at school until they are 18 will cause even more problems. Sadly, a lot of children are not academic but may have other good skills which are not being utilised. I have never heard anybody suggest that boredom could be part of the problem. Just think how many times the poor kids have to go over lessons in order to pass sats!

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  • 129. At 7:35pm on 25 Mar 2009, PinkNoseBaboon wrote:

    This is a major aspect of an endeavour that I am furthering for the entire UK and further afield. Everyone has their innate talents, even if the person in question finds those hard to find. Some who are more content with academic or book-learning may not be as good at practical tasks, and vice versa. The current UK education system trains people to further Economic Growth and the industry associated with the same, and with that rationale. It does not, yet, train people for real life beyond the human species or the diversity of personalities and their capabilities and innate talents (a major part of the endeavour in question). Current UK schooling can be mind-numbingly boring for many otherwise very practical people, and this does not necessaruly stop post-school and in University. Apprenticeships are thus key, if now required in a new way...

    Parents have a key responsibility, require help with the same at times, and must start from day one of birth or as soon as practicable thereafter to set defined and consistent boundaries for children, preferably explaining the same...

    Children are, however, ultimately unique personalities, and ought not have laxity just to field that get-out clause.

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  • 130. At 7:35pm on 25 Mar 2009, flamelynnep wrote:

    hi my mum had trouble getting my sisters to school and she ended up havin to carry them into the school but the school marked my sisters down as absent so now my mum has to home tutour them we think that the school is to blame as my mum did try and send them in?

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  • 131. At 7:35pm on 25 Mar 2009, clare_lou wrote:

    p.s. a lot of kids bunk of school because they are lazy- there is plenty range of subjects and BTEC vocational qualifictions now

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  • 132. At 7:35pm on 25 Mar 2009, Kevrealist wrote:

    Where as I respect Sir Alan for some of His views I do disagree with His comment tonight, that the the problem is with the Parents. How can this be? If having to escort your child/teenager through the School gates every morning only to find that your child has bunked off (it was skiving in my day) surely you've done everything you can do to ensure that your child attends School. Parents powers as has the Schools have been reduced over the years and these kids know this only too well. The answer in my humble opinion is, if the Parent has proved that all means have been tried and accounted for, is to place the child in a state run boarding School where perhaps the child might emerge with a bit more respect for the society that they will need to be part of.

    Don't start me on the subject of homework!!!

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  • 133. At 7:35pm on 25 Mar 2009, theprivateeye wrote:

    Parents should once again be given the right to apply controlled punishment to children from a young age, to understand discipline and respect. At the moment children know that no adult can touch them and therefore do what they feel like doing without any repercussions.
    Once the children reach school they should be educated to understand that with a good education the world is their oyster but by slacking, bullying or truanting their lives will be difficult to enjoy as they do now.
    The Police should then be given the power to enforce 40 hours community service per month for any repeat offenders to either slacking, bullying or truanting at school.
    If kids think that schools are bad, wait until they hit the harsh realitys of the real world hits them, that'll be when they'll realise their opportunity has passed!!!
    What does this country need???
    Discipline, Discipline, Discipline . . . Rewards, Rewards, Rewards,

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  • 134. At 7:35pm on 25 Mar 2009, Barista wrote:

    Once you truant from school or are banned by the school there is only one way - and that is down and out, drugs etc, low self-esteem and the benefits and crime cycle.
    To prevent it I suggest that if a kid does not go to school then he/she remains in the home under curfew which is enforced by the Education Authority.
    Another option as they cannot get out of bed they are obviously unfit. Take them to a place of safety where they are exercised until they drop literally so that they will sleep. Feed them well and basically rehabilitate them into a normal routine which their so called parents/carers have allowed to fall by the wayside. Once this is done, back home, and a strict regime of being called for each day and marched to school until they go willingly.
    Obviously this can only take place when the school authorities ensure that the school they attend are providing a damn good education and a motivating environment, which we know they are not. Also that no bullying by other pupils or even the staff is taking place.
    This will cost a fortune, but so what, the reality is that kid is going to cost us Jo Public a hell of a lot throughout their life, plus the feckless other kids they spawn and the repeating cycle from feral parents and feral kids. What the hell has happened to this country.
    It is simple, if you allow it to happen, it will. When I grew up, in 50s 60s you were asked where you were going by all if you were seen off school premises. Also lock- downs should be enforced. No kids out at all during school time. Good food provided and perhaps kids might want to stay in school if a good environment is provided.
    We, the so called adults are supposed to be in charge, so why are we not managing the most important time in a childs life?

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  • 135. At 7:36pm on 25 Mar 2009, lin5041 wrote:

    I work in a school in Liverpool and attendance is tackled on a daily basis, there are parents who cannot even be bothered to answer their phone when we call or block the number so we cannot contact them to inform them that their child is not in school,or they do not inform school if they change their telephone number

    I would enforce parents to pay everytime their child is absent from school without good reason, from either employment or DSS payments.

    Why should the tax payer like me pay to take these parents to court. because of our judiscal system parents now hire barristers to attend court on their behalf, and they get a slapped wrist and it carries on

    we have to get tough, parents play the system day in and day out,

    There have been cases where a parent has moved a child to another school across a boundry when they are threatend with court and they are allowed to get away with it

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  • 136. At 7:37pm on 25 Mar 2009, smartSarahC wrote:

    I have a 13 year old boy in high school. He has mild ADHD ( not making excuses for him).
    His day at school goes like this. Two lessons then break, two lessons then lunch and then one lesson and home.

    He has been caught truanting several times. He goes into school, attends registration then bunks off. This happens in the morning and also afternoon registration. Surely the schools should be doing more to make sure this doesan't happen

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  • 137. At 7:37pm on 25 Mar 2009, jes1964 wrote:

    EWO's are not respected for the job they do when all they are trying to achieve is a positive outcome for the child in terms of educational provision (whatever that may mean including a range of options for example smaller units, vocational training etc..) and to support the parents to avoid court action.
    We are even being sued by former pupils who state that their education was not provided by the local authority - well if free school places does not cover that one I despair what the lawyers will do and our council tax will spiral again...
    Well done!!

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  • 138. At 7:37pm on 25 Mar 2009, chranniewill wrote:

    Give incentives to all school children by way of a smart card which collects points for attendance, good grades, good behaviour, etc. At the end of term, rewards such as a trip to London, Theme Park outing etc to be given to the student who had collected the most points. A positive rather than negative way of dealing with the problem.

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  • 139. At 7:38pm on 25 Mar 2009, fiddlergeorgee wrote:

    I have been a teacher for a number of years and i believe the solution to bunking off school is to implement serious consequences such as a range of community service tasks where young people can really experience the elements of hard manuel work against their will.
    This needs to be followed through by schools placing strong pastoral teams within the structures, where certain people are employed only to deal with these issues.
    In the more general scheme of things there is also an issue of many young people not demonstrating good old fashioned morals, values and respect to the people trying to help them, (parents and teachers). A case of really appreciating what you have by suffering the consequence is what they need. As sir Alan said, It all starts at home with the parents. You would be surprised how far a simple please or thank you will take you?

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  • 140. At 7:38pm on 25 Mar 2009, amber800 wrote:

    How can we expect children to think education is important, if as soon as we have a little bad weather they are sent home. Those days are lost and what should have been learnt is not caught up.

    I do not condone truancy but feel that the general idea of the country is why work the state will keep us so I do not need an education. Not my feeling I have always worked until I retired to care for my husband.

    Parents can only do their best to get children to school ; perhaps the children should be put in care for the time not parents and I do not mean with TV etc.

    Also are people looking to find out if the teachers are interesting?

    I have a grandson in sixth form and he keeps being sent home due to teachers not being available so he misses his lessons. He will get fed up of going just to walk home again.

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  • 141. At 7:39pm on 25 Mar 2009, DebzyG wrote:

    I dont think it's fair to punish parents if their kids are truants UNLESS it is blatantly obvious that the parent is noth bothered about whether the child goes to school.

    Fact is no parent can keep an eye on their teenager 24 hours s day. If your child goes out in the morning dressed in school uniform, you assume they are on their way to school. Unless you follow them all the way there how can you possibly stop them from doing a bunk before they even reach the school gates?

    Frankly I think if the Government didn't throw you in jail for disciplining your child, then we wouldnt have half the problems with teenagers that we do.

    I'm 31 and when I was a teenager in the 90's there was none of this "you cant hit your kids" rubbish. My mother would give me a good hiding if I misbehaved and it never did me any harm!! I would never have dreamed of bunking off school because I knew what I'd get if my mother found out!! My mother never had to worry about the police bringing me home because she knew I was more worried about the punishment of her than what they would do!!

    And I don't see how punishining parents with jail is any deterent to the kids bunking off? The kids will just keep doing it because they know nothing will happen to them.

    Let parents have the freedom to discipline their kids and then maybe we wouldnt have so many disobedient teenagers with a bad attitude in the first place.

    Debbie in Birmingham

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  • 142. At 7:39pm on 25 Mar 2009, bunkoff wrote:

    Hi All I think my problem at school was due to first dislectsia (although never diagnosed) i found it very hard to read and write the teachers at that time had no time for me, or others with the same problem and was seen as trouble.
    This realy hurts and the only way i could deal with this was to just take time off as oftern as i could.
    I later joined the ARMY they didnt care haw i spelt things as long as i could make them understand what i was trying to put on the paper HURRAY some one actualy took the time to listern I then exelled so i say to all you who think that you con't read or write

    I BELIVE IN YOU. There are peaple out there who will listern be brave take that first step and ask for help

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  • 143. At 7:40pm on 25 Mar 2009, dave4615 wrote:

    Child benefit is paid for the benefit of the child therefore stopping this for children who DO NOT have a valid reason for being absent from school would hit them in the pocket and give their parents an incentive to take a more proactive role in encouraging and ensuring school attendance.
    Also, it starts to encourage acceptance of responsibiity for the consequence of one's actions - don't attend, parents don't have the money for luxuries.

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  • 144. At 7:40pm on 25 Mar 2009, midnightChristine wrote:

    Sir Alan/ Adrain/ Christine

    I fully aware that we have many parents who are not responsible enough for themselves - let alone bring up children. However, after bringing up 5 children and now a very proud grandmother I look sadly at todays culture and how our society has changed for the worse. We have a basin full of children struggling to swim as their parents divorce, and, putting their own happiness first. Nobody, wants to set rules , children therefore have no repect for their elders. Why do we wonder that there is a high level of truancy - it stands out a mile to me!

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  • 145. At 7:40pm on 25 Mar 2009, dhanifish wrote:

    I think a very important point has been missed on this issue of trauncy. It covers the whole area of young people being out of control. The point is in a lot of families the parents and possibly the grandparents are 3rd generation disfunctional families who never went to school and have never worked and are used to a benifts cultere exsitence where the norm is not to go to school or work . I think the way the topic was reported assumed that all parents are respossible hard working law abiding citizens sadly this is so far removed from the truth it hurts b. Just think ferral youths out of control lack of policing Knife crime perhaps the one show will do a follow up in the real world on this issue. Sir Alan Sugar who in my opinion should be running this country . is on the same wave lenght as most of us off his (our) era but the reallty is so diffrent know
    sorry for running on but i think this story merely touches upon what is so badly wrong with our society

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  • 146. At 7:40pm on 25 Mar 2009, philosophicalMillie wrote:

    Young people have no real concept of pensions and benefits, to threaten to take them away in the future for bad behaviour now would result in a predicatable 'Whatever!'

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  • 147. At 7:40pm on 25 Mar 2009, shy1512 wrote:

    i used to take my bother into school, sighn him in and hand him to the teacher and still even before i had left the building he used to be out again. what more was i as his carerer to do coz the school still said it was my fault.

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  • 148. At 7:40pm on 25 Mar 2009, Flamingoeyes wrote:

    Im 17 in six form and my brother is 15..
    Since the start of this school year he has been bunking off school and just staying at home..
    sleeping..and all that jazz
    evan though my parents do everything to try and get him into school..
    evan my grandad whos 70 tries to wake him up but he doesnt listen to anyone..
    thats not evan it right..
    theres another thing and I think it correlates to why he stays off school..
    hes into a subculture in teenagers where they are just angry all the time.. they all like rhinos..
    and they dont give anyone the chance in having respect for them.. unless they're part of the same subculture.. its just.. everything is inspired by hate.. hate everyone..
    I heard there was a nice place like that called Barton in Oxfordshire.. if you go to shops they give you toffee and theres a beach.. and everyone cups themselves in the nude and kisses eachother on the ball bags..
    I know it all happens alot in other ways with teenagers.. but because its a massive contrast to what I believe in aswell..
    I havent talked to my brother for about a year..
    it causes alot of stress at home.. especially for my parents and my grandparents..
    hes heard about my dad getting into trouble for this, and my dad has tried his hardest..
    but he works late shifts aswell and is unable to controll him..
    still bunks off school because he knows that evan if dad promises he wont wake him up anymore or he wont give him lifts to Barton.. he still has to do this to make my brother go to school ultimately as a bonding process..

    Ive got no idea.. and noone knows how to deal with him.. and he needs some help..

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  • 149. At 7:41pm on 25 Mar 2009, jes1964 wrote:

    School is not for everyone but where does the provision stop... We need to concentrate on the needs of everyone not always responding to the individual for example I see good kids get no reward for attendance and the ones that don't oh!! they go on trips days out etc..
    Wheres the sense in that reward the bad behaviour and not the good gives out the right message don't you think

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  • 150. At 7:42pm on 25 Mar 2009, Uk-inmate wrote:

    If it is wrong to punish the parent, and in some cases this is true then the responsibility for a child's attendance should be with the child. If school is classed as a social contract then those children who persistantly break this contract should face the consequencies.
    Bullying can be a real issue, when resolved those weeks of lost attendance can be credited to the childs attendance record.
    Lack of schooling will lead to a lower academic attainment with reduced work oportunities; by cutting the money they receive in benefit it will bring their previous actions home to them and go some way to redressing the monetry cost of their apathy. If I do not aquire enough "stamps" during my working life then I receive a reduced pension.

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  • 151. At 7:42pm on 25 Mar 2009, midnightChristine wrote:

    Sir Alan/ Adrain/ Christine

    I fully aware that we have many parents who are not responsible enough for themselves - let alone bring up children. However, after bringing up 5 children and now a very proud grandmother I look sadly at todays culture and how our society has changed for the worse. We have a basin full of children struggling to swim as their parents divorce, and, putting their own happiness first. Nobody, wants to set rules , children therefore have no repect for their elders. Why do we wonder that there is a high level of truancy - it stands out a mile to me! So, Sir Alan some parents are to blame but not all

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  • 152. At 7:43pm on 25 Mar 2009, budda39 wrote:

    my son is dyslexic and 19 now so does not have to go to school, but when he was at school he was bullied so i moved him to another school, in the new school he had problems with his lessons so became the class clown, this led to him getting in trouble and so he would not go to school. The schools involved did nothing (in my opinion) to help my son. This lead to him truanting on a regular basis, i had phone calls from the school to tell me he was not there, even when i had physically taken him in to school and sat in the headmasters office with him and later in the day i would get a call saying he not there, if they can't keep a child in the school when i had taken him there how is that my fault!! I am just relived that he is no longer having to go to school because i would be getting the blame and the school would not be made accountable in any way. They later expelled him because it was easier than actually dealing with him and his needs.

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  • 153. At 7:44pm on 25 Mar 2009, dodiegran wrote:

    The truancy discussion is very general on the One Show.
    There are many children with problems who are not receiving the right amount of help to attend main stream school. Are they considered truants too?
    Parents of these children aare often at their wits end with worry about the lack their children's education.
    Education and Health authorities do not seem able to work together to assist the children and the schools to provide the support required.
    What can be done for these children? has anyone found a solution?

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  • 154. At 7:45pm on 25 Mar 2009, LentonMac wrote:


    After seeing how Rose, a decent innocent citizen, gets sent to prison for an ongoing struggle to deal with a problem and possibly threatening teenager for something he doesn't want to do, is really unfair.

    I'm sick of hearing of anti-social behaviour in the news, which I am sure parents have tried so hard to control.

    I have severe depression and it upsets me to hear of kind loving innocent citizens getting in trouble with the law for something they can't control. It also worries me because I'll be getting married soon to someone with a 10 year old daughter. Have I got to fear what the law will do to me over the possibility of a kind loving princess who, at 13, could turn dangerous and abusive.

    If the stupid law has got a problem with parents failing to gets their kids to school, then they come round the home and drag that child to school or send him to borstal for month. I bet the parents would enjoy the peace and quiet.

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  • 155. At 7:47pm on 25 Mar 2009, Wandleburywoodmouse wrote:

    The cure for truancy lies only partly with the parents, who may be trying their best, but can't solve the problem alone.

    The main problem with children who truant is the child's self-image. Most of them don't feel appreciated in school and even may feel a failure. Many of them don't feel that school offers them anything positive. This has partly come about through the need to measure progress through tests and exams. Those children who don't do well, get negative feelings about themselves at an early age. Often their own parents didn't do well at school and reinforce the idea that the child can't help being poor at learning.

    What these children need is special intervention with very skilled teachers at infant and lower junior level, helping them to improve especially in areas like reading and Maths to give them the self-belief they need to keep trying at things they find difficult.

    Very few of us are naturally brilliant in every area, and most of us who succeed have learned to cope with the odd failure, but know from other areas that we can succeed if we keep working and trying. Often, the sort of child who truants feels such an abject failure while in school that they just don't want to put themselves through the sadness of it all.

    I am a retired teacher, and was largely successful at getting youngsters who had failed at reading and Maths to gain the self-confidence to work on their difficulties and conquer them, but there is no quick-fix. First the child has to learn to trust the teacher's judgement, and the teacher has to be skilled at assessing the level of knowledge and ability of the child, and then implementing progress in small attainable steps.

    Sometimes the problem is the behaviour of a child who sees him/herself as a failure, and needs to be taught how to learn and concentrate before anything can be taught, and that needs a whole lot of different skills.

    It can be done, and if there are 60 000+ truants daily that is a tremendous waste of our talented youth.

    We need specially instuituted schools (boarding schools, possibly?) where children who repeatedly truant are taken out of their home situation and given access to top-paid enthusiastic and skilled professionals who can set them back on the road to learning through social caring and carefully matched attainable work.

    Once they actually start to succeed there is no stopping them.

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  • 156. At 7:49pm on 25 Mar 2009, happyoneshowviewer wrote:

    I find this very disturbing that so many people here are saying the way to deal with persistent traunts is to either beat them with a cane, put the parents into prison or stop various benefits!

    If there is a huge increase in the number of children playing truant we must look at why is this happening.Perhaps we should change the system in the hope that children would be looking forward to going in to school, to enjoy learning, and to be taught how to plan their future lives to include life skills and a job plan?

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  • 157. At 7:49pm on 25 Mar 2009, SophieCorrine wrote:

    I know Im perhaps contradicting myself here from what I said earlier on suggesting the use of boarding schools to punish the truent as well as the parents, but are we all forgetting that we who are critisising the youth generation are forgetting who raised it?

    Afterall its down to the parents who are raising this generation who are to blame for their behaviour.. Parents could do more, when my younger brother and sister and I where younger we hated school and we where taken kicking and screaming if need be. But since age 10 I loved school and I love college now.

    So to any curious truents reading Id suggest go back! Because your school days are the ones you'll miss when you leave, not only that if you miss out on your education now what life will you lead other than sponging off us tax payers because no one will employ you for lack of qualifications and in some cases ambition.

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  • 158. At 7:51pm on 25 Mar 2009, carlblogger wrote:

    Arhhh!!! Why oh why do the BBC always forget to mention the most straightforward of reasons why children wont go to school and instead focus on the problem being the pupil or parents.

    Whilst I am not a parent myself, I have listened carefully to my niece who has made it clear about problems she has faced during her schooling. Issues include, lack of interaction with pupils and all too quick to leave slow learners behind, lack of engaging material presented to pupils which included completely inflexible projects where it made it impossible for individuals to express their creative side, lack of access to equipment such as computers and other electronic devices. All this at a time when she really needed input from the teachers and understanding from her school during her teenage years. My brother-in-law was told by a teacher that he was only good for a job as a lab technician only to become associate professor of medicine at a cancer center.

    Is it about time the government starts looking at how and what they teach to make it more engaging and stop trying to use quick fix solutions bullying children back into school that does little to help improve their career prospects.

    Just before you start flaming me for this post I am not criticising the hard working conditions the teachers work under, but as a adult instructor I see the value of involving and engaging learners from the moment I meet them. My job depends on it.

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  • 159. At 7:53pm on 25 Mar 2009, pandamak wrote:

    I agree that it is the parents responsibilty to make sure that their kids go to school, however it is the childrens' responsibility to actually stay in school.

    There is only so much that a parent/s can do to try and make this happen. There are many parents out there that try their damn hardest to get it done, and feel as long as they can prove that they have tried, tried and tried again, they shouldn't be punished. However, the parents that turn a blind eye and let it happen, and keep reoffending, I think they should be punished.

    If children are old enough to make a decision to be truant, they should be old enough to accept punishment. As the old age saying goes, Dont do the crime if you cant do the time!!

    Although I do think that something needs to be done about punishment, and imprisonment isnt always the answer. Instead, make them do community service, like some criminals. But this time, they are doing something for the community, rather than the community paying their prison bill through tax. There are plenty of areas that need volunteers, from working with people such as the elderly and disabled, to cleaning up their community, like graffiti, rubbish and waterways.

    But this must be enforced and followed through to make sure that people know that they have choices, but if they make the wrong one, they will be punished...

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  • 160. At 7:57pm on 25 Mar 2009, jabbajockey wrote:

    How many more times is this issue---and associated ones such as class discipline--going to be aired on tv? Governments are to blame for making a bad situation even worse--reason? by removing ALL vestiges of deterent, from the lives of our young. When children--can do--say--and come and go as they please--without any meaningful punishment whatsoever--then the feckless, idle, and downright disruptive, will continue to--not only influence those who might be easily led into that attitude, but destroy the efforts of those who are genuinely trying to make the effort to improve their futures. In short---the punishment MUST be feared, so as to leave NO DOUBT at all, that obeying the rules is the only way. There should be no simple cart blanche ruling that parents are sent to prison, it should be down to cases--obviously, a last resort, if no effort has been made to comply with court instructions. I have my own justice that I would like seen meetered out---but as with all of todays problems (and I say it is part of the cause) I would not be allowed to say what it is.

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  • 161. At 7:58pm on 25 Mar 2009, funnyoldman wrote:

    Truancy is a peer problem so to eradicate it, is to get the so called leader to be shown why education is good and useful for their future.
    From an early stage of truancy these leaders should be identified and brought into line.

    IN my time at school we would have to bring a letter for any reason of missing school. There was a feeling of almost fear if we thought of (bunking off ). We used to get lines, detention and the cane when we were naughty. In P E, our teacher gave us the slipper on our back side and if two lads argued or fought he would put boxing gloves on them and they would have to go a few rounds in front of the class who formed a ring.

    I feel that there have been too many DO GOODERS in the past that have removed the discipline from schools and other institutions. You can see now how many thoughts are going back to (the good old days).

    So lets start the children at an early age to respect and appreciate what they can achieve by attending school, possibly going on to the armed forces, not forgetting Scouts, Girl guides, youth clubs, sports, any activity that gets the youngsters feeling good about themselves.
    I could go on and on but talking does not get things done. ACTION BY THOSE WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO RUN THIS COUNTRY IS NEEDED NOW.

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  • 162. At 7:59pm on 25 Mar 2009, happySimonp wrote:

    It seems that its systematic of the social problems facing this country today.
    Everybody thinks that they can get something for nothing or feel that they deserve glamourised "celebrity" trappings without really having to work for them.
    We deserve everything NOW!
    Look at the credit situation, how people abuse the benefits system thats really meant to be a last straw for the needy only.
    The amount of teenage pregnancies, and those that are conceived purley to jump queues in getting free council accomodation. ( a v small percentage)
    The takeover of TV takeaway dinners over the proper family sit down dinner
    The general dwindling respect for people, property and the lack of general moral fibre.
    The buck does ultimately stop with the parents. Its up to them to bring up their kids to respect them and show them how they should interact with the wider world.
    Sure kids will be kids and every situation is different in cirumstances. There can be situations also where kids are being bullied. However if parents had the love respect and trust of their kids, they would much more likely find out if there was a bullying problem and find a way to deal with it, working with the school.
    There are also selfish irresponsible waste of space parents that couldn't give a hoot if their kids go to school or not. You have to feel sorry for the kids.

    Kids caught playing truant should feel embarrassed for the parents. The shame of it alone and the fear of punishment would be enough that you wouldn't even think of it again.

    Now some kids dont give a hoot because they feel there are no real consequences. The health and safety mob have ensured neither school nor parent can effecivtively smack any discipline into kids. Similarly some parents dont engage their kids or the schools properly.

    So what take em back to school?
    Round up all the truants and put them to work litter-picking in hi viz vests? (Supervised of course.) Thats not a bad idea. Might get them back in school quick.

    Until proper family values are restored and the social problems are atcually tackled, there is no real easy fix to this problem.

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  • 163. At 8:00pm on 25 Mar 2009, flyingfortess wrote:

    if you want kids back in school round up all the do gooders and human rights and shot them all. so the power can go back to the parents and police and not to the kids

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  • 164. At 8:02pm on 25 Mar 2009, schoolfairy wrote:

    Parents that flaunt the rules for shopping trips and holidays are just reinforcing to their kids that school and school work's not that important- not when it comes to a new outfit or a wizz down the ski slopes!!!
    Jailing a parent who cant keep things together is not productive for the child or the family. Having a school parent support adviser who can work with parents on recognising and tackle early signs of poor attendance is a huge advantage. They put in place early intervention work (In some schools it can be quite a time before the 'Attendance Officer' gets notified and involved). Generally getting back to basics with a good parenting skills programme - one born from sound and realistic principles would benefit all parents. I think EVERY parent should attend a parenting course when the kids start nursery/reception class.

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  • 165. At 8:04pm on 25 Mar 2009, geordieangel2 wrote:

    My son is grown up now, but he was bullied at school just for being Dyslexic, I took him to school every day, and picked him up again at tea time, the head master was no help, as he would not believe such a thing could happen in his school, I think I actually hate him for that. when I began full time work, he was 10yrs, my uncle was kind enough to take him to school for me, it was a very difficult time, but I made sure he got his schooling, which I believe is important.
    The truant officer stopping parents in the street said, she sometimes took the children back to school her self, well I'm sorry!! but no stranger in the street would walk away with any child of mine, OVER MY DEAD BODY!! how would I know who she is?? Paedophiles up and down the country have now had a good look at that jacket and its badge, it shouldn't be too difficult for a determined paedophile to copy

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  • 166. At 8:04pm on 25 Mar 2009, oneshowmaniac wrote:

    Bring discipline back from the play ground into the school then there will be a chance to eradicate it . it follows that to achieve this there must be an effective route to disciplining the bullies and making the schools save.
    This was effective during my schooling from 1936 to 1947 when school and teachers were respected and stabbings were not dreamed of - a fear of and possibly a touch of the cane did me nor my contemporaries any harm - after all we won a war where discipline counted for all -

    The trouble is that present parents have no idea of discipline or respect that was removed from schools so 40 years ago and took with it the very discipline and respect that is necessary for children of all ages, and more importantly teenagers, need to enter into a world where the environment is the subject control and regulation which by education will overcome the present anarchy amongst the wrong doers who sadly do not know Right form wrong

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  • 167. At 8:09pm on 25 Mar 2009, TheCloud wrote:

    Please stop calling children KIDS - they are children, KIDS are baby goats, arn't they?

    Putting parents into jail make already overcrowded prisons more overcrowded. Stopping child benefit is one idea or giving the parents and children comunity service (clearing up the incresing amounts of litter destroying our environment) is another.

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  • 168. At 8:10pm on 25 Mar 2009, Uk-inmate wrote:

    Having been abroad a few times to underdeveloped countries what these children fail to understand is that an education is a privilage, not a right.
    It is taken for granted by todays students that "Uni" is an option, studying "Hairstyles of the sixties" for exmple, or travelling to SE Asia. Whereas a generation ago an apprenticeship was the best goal that many could aim for, I do not regret becoming an electricial apprentice, even in these bad times a trade will get you further than a diploma.

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  • 169. At 8:11pm on 25 Mar 2009, astrohelen wrote:

    The Kids who play truent are lost, or have a plan which does not include all the subjects provided. They perhaps need Careers advice, to be shown a path. Provide NVQ opertunites earlier.

    There may well be alot to do with Family Values but ultimatly it is the individuals responsability. Television, games and technologies have a major part in development.

    Respect has been lost along the way.

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  • 170. At 8:12pm on 25 Mar 2009, statos101 wrote:

    ! cannot believe that forty years on we are still grappling with the subject of, Truancy. In the seventies the problems of Teacher abuse started, Parents have been pushed aside by these called Academics, The privilliged university few. The liberal minded who put political correctness before all, Governments who have turned a blind eye when parents have screamed at the madness that has seen A1 Students chances ruined as the Teachers and parents have tried to rid our schools of abusive pupils, of Bullying, and classroom violence. All parents rights were taken awaye.g Prison if you chastise your child for even the most serious of wrongdoings, forty years of labour and tory plans to destroy our families and our childrens lives.
    I am one father who was banned from my daughters school for trying to force them to change their policy of no punishment no matter what the crime, Now weve had twelve years of New Labours corruption of our children, You cannot put parents in prison for their childrens Truancy when the very government who have brought in this law, is the same bunch of morons who has taken away all the headmasters authority

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  • 171. At 8:17pm on 25 Mar 2009, elfinstone wrote:

    from Abbigail, Wales:-

    Sending parents to prison for the non-attendance of their children is basically an infringement of the parents' basic human rights anyway. Above the age of ten, children can now be prosecuted in the eyes of the law. Test case anyone?

    I have a fifteen year old daughter who is autistic. I commence coaxing her out of bed at six every morning. Because of her disability, my daughter lacks non-executive function and is not time-aware. She is however very savvy and knows that I am not allowed to use any form of physical force in order to get her to attend school, she does oddly know what constitutes physical assault. Every morning I am repetitively bullied by an obnoxious fifteen year old. I feel that my daughter and I need positive help with her attitude, not punishment for me, this is a perverse situation that I think many parents also find themselves in.

    I feel that the time is right for an amendment to this legislation in order to counteract these "savvy negotiators". Absenteeism should be punishable by mandatory attendance at some sort of rehabilitation unit with no mod cons (no i-pod, internet or mobile).

    In the majority of cases its plainly not the parents but the attitude of the truants themselves that need amending effectively...

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  • 172. At 8:22pm on 25 Mar 2009, mrsmosiemo wrote:

    Among the many reasons for truancy is undiagnosed syndromes, such as Dislexia, ADHD, ADD, etc. These affect concentration and children are made to feel 'thick' and 'stupid' by frustrated teachers. The Education authorities should ensure that part of teacher training and ongoing training for all school staff, includes spotting the symptoms of the above syndromes/diseases - and realising that these are not actually 'badly behaved children/young people' but they are actually unable to concentrate or absorb what is being taught, despite repeated questioning and attempts to fathom the information.

    These syndromes are more widespread these days, due possibly to over processed food? Who knows for sure, but ignoring these, often very intelligent, young people's dilemmas is costing them and society an enormous amount in consequent social problems.

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  • 173. At 8:22pm on 25 Mar 2009, gazmking wrote:

    Yep just like I thought, overall consensus is the same, THERE IS NO DISCIPLINE

    There is the problem take it up with your MP

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  • 174. At 8:24pm on 25 Mar 2009, ironphredd wrote:

    I have long held the belief that all children should be brought up by experts and professionals in the art of child rearing!
    To this end and off shore island needs to vecated of its population, then all Dr. Spook types, shcool teachers, child care professionals and anyone else who knows how to rear children, along with all children from birth would be sent.
    Here the children would remain, to be educated and trained to be perfect citizens.
    At 18 years all children would be reintorduced to their parents as perfect young citizens!
    Iron Phredd!!

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  • 175. At 8:26pm on 25 Mar 2009, harryhelpful wrote:

    I am not a parent, though I know many across the south of England, a very high percentage, home educate their children, the reasons come down to their beneath that the uk school system is a night mere, for any human to be in, including the teachers, they see the system to be a bias crude system that has had plenty longernoth to of become far greater an educator than it is, they along with many teachers feel that the governments are wrong to control what and how is taught, they see this as degrading for all humans, many have very strong beliefs that the uk schooling has been manipulated purposefully to have control on the uk society as a hole. These people are in there 30's and 40's they are mainly white. They feel the way they do about most of the subjects taught, they strongly history and scenes, sex education is part of this as well. They don’t want their children to be open to eating what is called food though to them clearly is not fit for any human, they feel that they and all others are being deeply insulted and abused, another thing that they tend to worry about is the use of wi fi in schools.

    As a by stander, I listen to these mothers and fathers that have worked hard to home educate, they make sense to me, their children tend to be very happy, very switched on wanting to learn all the time, and very healthy, I thing that it would be very good for you to do a slot on your program about this, as I understand it is not illegal to home edgeucate, and is infact a growing trend.

    I grow up dyslexic, it wasn’t till I was 9 that I could read and right, school was hell for me, it was my father, an English teacher that took me out two mornings a week and got me reading and righting over two years, in the 70's when he did, it was only that he was a teacher that he was allowed, he saved my life, when he taught me he treated me with respect, allowing me to have a drink whilst I worked and so on. But the damage that the school had done took many more years to repair; I was a very angry teenager. The only way I got through my secondary school was with the help of an art teacher that broke all the rules to be able to treat me as the respected human I was, dew to him I went on to get a good mark in an art degree.

    From what I see in my life, I get a very strong feeling that you in your program go out of your way to broadcast what you think people should know, what I have just seen on the one show is a good egsampel.ocationly when I see you having some one on that sounds like he's about to rock the boat, I watch the two presenters showing states of fear or trying to put across attitudes that amount to a very naive state of mind, why don’t the bbc start delivering a fear ruefully informative program at this time of night, there are many young children that would feel greatly helped in life a long with many parents, if you did.

    My self and most of the people that I know, feel great changes have to happen in the uk as our country is being turned into a night mere to live in. the bbc carries a lot of responsibility in their part, why did they not interview home educators, they just showed two sides of a problem, the problem being that parent could go to jail, should or not, for the actions of humans that know to some extent that they are not happy to be going to school. Or they are so polluted by chems that they are not fit. Well many of the teachers that go are not happy, many stay until they are ill and cant go, it is the result of a stupid imperial nightmare that educated them to do the time (job) in the first place. life should be about working to happyness, and what example is Allen sugars, for people?

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  • 176. At 8:29pm on 25 Mar 2009, TerryBSM wrote:

    Go back 200 years to the early 19th century. Education was NOT compulsory – that didn’t come until the 1876. But children poured into schools set up by philanthropists. They PAID a penny a week or so to attend. They were REWARDED for good work –with toys or items of clothing. Older pupils taught younger ones. It was the Mutual, or Monitorial system of education, developed by Joseph Lancaster. And it worked across the country and the empire – children realised that with an education they stood a far better chance of getting a decent job. The alternative was poverty.
    And it can all be demonstrated at the British Schools Museum, Hitchin, Herts.

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  • 177. At 8:37pm on 25 Mar 2009, Joanne_007 wrote:

    I finished school 11 years ago and have twice been accused of truanting, I took it as a complement!

    I don't feel that putting parents in jail for students wagging school solves anything. I went to school with a boy who often played truant and his mum and dad alternately would walk him into the class and see his name get ticked in the register.

    About 5 minutes after they had left to go to work, he would just get up and walk out of the fire exit. The parents did their part in getting him to school, but the school didn't seem very interested in their responsibility in keeping him there.

    Schools like most government institutuions are target lead and don't as a general rule consider the dynamics of the individuals. I loved school but there were loads who didn't and there are loads who still don't.

    Truancy is a tiny aspect of a bigger debate that is sometimes referred to as 'nature vs nurture'. In reallity it is that 'nature needs nurturing'. There is always something good that people can do. They might not suit the class room but it shouldn't matter. I learnt what a hypotenuse was when I was in the shopping centre staring at the escelator!

    After I'd seen that, the paper work in class made more sense. If I was a student now I'd probably play truant. Education should not be about teaching children how to pass tests. Eduaction is about providing life skills, finance skills, enjoyment skills, morals and self worth.

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  • 178. At 8:43pm on 25 Mar 2009, klm1970 wrote:

    We have a 12 year old son who for the last four months has regularly walked out of school once he has been dropped off by my husband. We are fulfilling our statutory responsibility in getting him to school, however what part of the law applies to school in actually making sure he stays there?

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  • 179. At 9:01pm on 25 Mar 2009, stephiew wrote:

    I have a few concerns about the item on 'truanting'.

    Firstly, the attendance officer said that parents have a legal duty to make sure that their children attend a place of education. This is wrong; parents have a duty to make sure that their children receive education appropriate to their age, aptitude and any special needs that they have. In many cases children with special educational needs are very poorly catered for at school - and may be better at home even if they are not receiving appropriate education!

    Secondly, many children who don't attend school are not actually truanting so much as escaping from being bullied by both children and sometimes also staff.

    My personal experience of my son's inability to attend school is very relevant. Although he did not truant; he was made really ill by bullying -such that he missed the last three years of statutory education and was never able to return to school. He has had to have treatment for post traumatic stress disorder as a result and was permanently damaged by his school experiences.

    My son was different because of special educational needs, was badly bullied by children and also by staff who were poorly trained in SEN and did not understand or acknowledge his severe difficulties. He reported the bullying to staff who did nothing about it but were in denial- we only discovered this, when we asked for his educational record when considering a disability discrimination tribunal.

    We discovered from the educational record that, at one time, our case had been wrongly discussed at a multi disciplinary meeting, as though he was truanting. In fact we were trying to get the Borough to arrange education for him - we had difficulties because no school would take our son because the Borough would not pay for the SEN support that he needed. Two schools told us that they could not cater for our son at all; two told us that they could only take our son if they received extra funding for doing so. The remaining boys school was the one that had done the damage to him!

    He is exceptionally bright- as assessed by the Borough's own Educational Psychologists but has significant SEN. Appropriate education was only arranged when we approached the local government ombudsman and he considered investigating. The Borough then arranged an independent investigation which found completely on our son's side. We, and our son, then received written and verbal apologies from the Borough and a commitment to overhaul their policies to give other children and parents better service in the future. However, our son's childhood was ruined, his education limited, and his health damaged longterm by mismanagement. We could easily have ended up having to fight a truancy case in court, on top of everything else!

    As a result of our experiences we are very aware of many varied complex reasons why children may not attend school. In many cases it is probably a self defence mechanism which protects the child from harm.

    The government should look more at what is actually going on in our schools -and should make them appropriate to children's needs -and above all they must be safe!

    If we had done the damage to our son that the school did, we would have been taken to court for neglect and abuse.

    Children spend many hours in school where the most vulnerable are often almost totally unprotected.

    Incidentally I have direct experience of the workings of schools from the 'inside' -as well as being a parent of a damaged youngster, I am also an educational professional qualified in SEN.

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  • 180. At 9:02pm on 25 Mar 2009, merthyrgroucho1 wrote:

    I'm an EWO, in my experience the majority of problems regarding poor attendance at school are due to family lifestyles. I don't want to stereotype but usually there is only the mother on hand trying to enforce routines and boundries to her children without the support of the children's father. Invariably, the mother has very poor parenting skills and is at her wit's end due to the chaotic lifestyle. 9 times out of 10 I get the full support of the parent but then the child has to be convinced that they will get something out attending school full time. These families are also part of larger extended families where they are 3rd or 4th generation of unemployed.
    It's a HUGE problem that needs to be addressed by the whole of society.

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  • 181. At 9:30pm on 25 Mar 2009, geordieangel2 wrote:

    I can see the difficulty when children who are sometimes bigger than their parents, just flatley refusing to get out of bed and go to school, I feel sorry for those parents ,what are they supposed to do? sending them to prison is not a good idea, what happens to the children left at home, there are lot of single parent families today, do the children go into care, how much will it cost for Mum to be kept in prison, and how much for the children in care, yet more burden on the tax payers, and you know what the worst thing of all is ? what kind of child would bunk off school, knowing their Mum will go to prison for them, what type of person will they become, and what type of child will they raise, a scary thought!!

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  • 182. At 9:41pm on 25 Mar 2009, Horse361 wrote:

    They need a Truancy School and it should be alittle like prison.

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  • 183. At 10:06pm on 25 Mar 2009, harold31 wrote:

    I think it is a waste of taxpayers money and solves nothing to send parents to prison. I agree that the child needs to take some responsibility and learn about consequence...sending a parent to prison only accentuates the problem and leaves the child feeling less secure. I thought we were now meant to be focusing on family values!!

    Sonia - Colchester, Essex.

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  • 184. At 10:06pm on 25 Mar 2009, j4k3y8o1 wrote:

    Im 15 and just coming up to my GCSE's. Just recently ive started to not go to school because all i want to do is just get out there and work. I know i only have a couple of months left but to me its a couple of months too long. I do try and make the effort to get into school when i can however. I just cant wait for it all to be over with to be honest. I cant wait to just wake up and know that i dont have to worry about getting up and argueing with my mum about going to school. I do feel sorry for my mum and i dont want her to go to prison, howerver, there isnt much she can do about it. I agree with the person that said us people skipping school should be more encouraged to work and get apprenticeships.

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  • 185. At 10:15pm on 25 Mar 2009, tiptopfletchyfletch wrote:

    I go to college and me and many friends recieve EMA (Education Maintanence Allowance) and the most anybody can ecieve is £30 a week if we attend all lessons.

    I have noticed that many of the students at college attend lessons that don't really want to because they get EMA and gain money.
    Then when i wathed the one show about truencing i had a thougt that the majority or kids that truent are from a poor or deprived background (although many aren't and just choose not to attend), because of this, i thought that maybe if the government could create a system to allow a student in secondary school EMA then it would give them an incentive to attend school even if it was £10 pound a week, it may be anough to cut down on people missing school.

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  • 186. At 10:19pm on 25 Mar 2009, geordieangel2 wrote:

    Post 184, not to worry, 2 months will go quick enough, you sound like you will soon be out there earning, and learning, best of luck, have a good life.
    P.S. why can we not have children doing an apprenticeship in their last 2 school years, better chance of getting a job.
    Vi, Northeast

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  • 187. At 10:25pm on 25 Mar 2009, harold31 wrote:

    Further to my above comment...I would like to respond to comment number 180 - "Stereotyping" I think you are...I am working with professional people full time and so is my husband, we have our own home and yet we have faced the very problem being discussed here with our eldest son. Just because for whatever reason your child refuses to go to school does not mean you and your extended family are living on benefits..but you soon would be if you have to give up your job for this (which is what nearly happended to me) and then face possible jail sentence!"

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  • 188. At 10:27pm on 25 Mar 2009, advisormarksmith wrote:

    It's all about taking personal responcibility and the government has to put that justly on the individual. Truancy hurts the taxpayer as those who "Bunk off school" make themselves unemployable, therefore, give each child at birth an NI number. This can be used at registration at every class. We surely have the technology. If any school boy or girl is tracked as a truant then they automatically deny themselves the right to any unemployment benefits in the future. Hit them where it hurts, in the pocket. Same goes for any issue though. Teen pregnancies for example. No income = struggle. It's about time we saw the end to state sponsored benefit spongers. Advisormark - NE Surrey.

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  • 189. At 10:27pm on 25 Mar 2009, harold31 wrote:

    Sorry...comment number 187 from Sonia in Colchester, Essex.

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  • 190. At 00:03am on 26 Mar 2009, LeafyWarwickshire wrote:

    I am a retired teacher.

    Well down this comment list I assume my solution will never reach 'the one show'.

    Minding would force a parent/guardian to be aware of their problem child’s lack of control. Make the parent responsible. Implementation at primary age would establish the rules for young truants.

    1. Curfew at home the truants between 6pm and 8am.
    2. Parent/guardian sentenced to be their child’s minder. Truant ‘sentenced’ for a set period of ‘being under minder supervision’.
    3. If employed a parent/guardian must be forced to taking time from work and receive only unemployment pay. However their employment legally remains and continues on the satisfactory completion of ‘minder sentence’.
    4. Parent/guardian must take truant to school and remain constantly minding the truant throughout the school day. This includes sitting with truant throughout each and every lesson, lunch time, and accompanying truant to toilets. Minder escorts truant home at school close.
    5. If truant successfully completes the sentence the parent/guardian is discharged.
    6. Any resumption of truanting and the law recommences the sentence.

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  • 191. At 00:06am on 26 Mar 2009, LeafyWarwickshire wrote:

    I am a retired teacher.

    Well down this comment list I assume my solution will never reach 'the one show'.

    Minding would force a parent/guardian to be aware of their problem child's lack of control. Make the parent responsible. Implementation at primary age would establish the rules for young truants.

    1. Curfew at home the truants between 6pm and 8am.
    2. Parent/guardian sentenced to be their child's minder. Truant sentenced for a set period of being under minder supervision.
    3. If employed a parent/guardian must be forced to taking time from work and receive only unemployment pay. However their employment legally remains and continues on the satisfactory completion of minder sentence.
    4. Parent/guardian must take truant to school and remain constantly minding the truant throughout the school day. This includes sitting with truant throughout each and every lesson, lunch time, and accompanying truant to toilets. Minder escorts truant home at school close.
    5. If truant successfully completes the sentence the parent/guardian is discharged.
    6. Any resumption of truanting and the law recommences the sentence.

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  • 192. At 01:03am on 26 Mar 2009, andiKramer wrote:

    Boot Camp type of situation for truanting kids, that are habitually truanting... with a view to showing them how tough things can get if they dont tow the line (a modern day replacement for family values, as they appear to have been eroded)

    Maybe enforced counseling for parents that condone truanting.

    Better ear for kids at school having issues like bullying either by teacher or fellow students.

    Hopefully these 3 things can go a LONG way to helping many of societies issues, further down the line.

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  • 193. At 02:21am on 26 Mar 2009, grandOldRec wrote:

    As a grand old rec, I remember driving through the town and seeing a youngster (not kid - product of a goat) who should have been in school. I simply pulled over and questioned why he was not in school
    to receive the answer 'I went yesterday, Fr. Alex' Sadly I informed him that he had to attend every day -and having placed him in my car I returned him to school. Truancy is not a matter for the parents - his parent could not cope - it is a mater for the community in which the child lives but that would not be allowed now!

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  • 194. At 09:28am on 26 Mar 2009, wellwhatabout wrote:

    I listened with interest to the item on truancy and sending parents (usually mothers) to jail for failing to get their children to school. Maybe you would consider contacting Local Authorities in your area and asking them for figures of how many teenagers in residential care are regular attenders at school. Don't let them quote to you "alternative provisions" ask for figures of attenders to mainstream schools.
    If government employees are unable to get these teenagers to school with all the resources available to them how and why is it that the local authority is not prosecuted?

    If these teenagers were taken into care the government knows it would do no better than the mothers. Residential care is not a place of "care and control" more often it is just a holding provision. There are no sanctions nowadays that are allowable in law to compel. What methods would the government suggest the mothers use? they don't have one that works in residential care.

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  • 195. At 10:34am on 26 Mar 2009, klm1970 wrote:

    Soapbox79 Comment No 7
    "Jailing the parents has no effect whatsoever. Perhaps parenting classes for parents of children who are playing truant???"
    Re my earlier comment No 178, we have two other children who both attended and one still attends school on a full time basis and do not walk out like their brother.

    Does this make us bad parents? ALL of our children have and continue to be brought up with manners and respect for other people.

    Our son is a very bright child, and before this started happening was in the top 20 of his year at school, we feel that he is not being challenged enough by the education he is receiving when he attends school, but as is normal, our opinion doesn't seem to count as we have a 'problem child'.

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  • 196. At 12:08pm on 26 Mar 2009, grumpy_codger wrote:

    As with many things in today's society, this is not a simple problem and has many causes as highlighted above. Bullying is often the one quoted, but others include:

    - No ambition, several generations of family on state handouts. Only ambition is a baby and a council house.
    - Lack of interest, Schools struggle to inspire kids
    - Poor teachers (minority I hope!!), but I bunked off school when studying A levels because my maths teacher refused to explain if we didn't understand. Anyone who asked was branded "Stupid" ... everyone in her class failed, but the school did nothing!!
    - Genuine cases of kids who think its clever
    - Stupid parents who encourage it by taking the kids on shopping trips and holidays when they should be in school

    The think the real problem comes down to three issues:

    1. Lack of interest by parents, too busy to bother with the child. This is why the government (rightly or wrongly) introduced sentences for parents, but this does not deal with ...
    2. A process to understand WHY the child is truant and deal with the genuine issues ... e.g. bullying, boredom, social or domestic issues etc
    3. Any form of discipline that can be administered by schools or parents on the child. These days the child quotes human rights to parents and teachers! How often do we hear of teachers being prosecuted for dealing with problems in class?

    Unless we deal with all of these three (rather than focussing on whether jail sentences for parents are right or wrong) issues, we will continue to make any progress and continue to see the problem rise.

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  • 197. At 1:52pm on 26 Mar 2009, msSupertramp wrote:

    First a more lighthearted comment - there was some talk of what truanting is called in various places - Where was the Scottish "skiving" ? Its wider than just school too - people can skive from allsorts of things....

    Re: Parents going to jail - I'm inclined to agree with the teacher who suggests a young offender instution, or being put in care, or maybe thay should have tags that sound an alarm if they are not in the school premises between schoolhours?

    Just a thought. Karen, Edinburgh

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  • 198. At 2:13pm on 26 Mar 2009, truantman wrote:

    I think it is unacceptable to punish the parents its the child that isn't going to school. its very difficult for a parent to make a child do something that they clearly don't want to do. Its sole destroying to see your child give up - what we should do is help the child rather than punish. Maybe these kids have been excluded from school so much that they can't cope in a lesson they can become so far behind and exclusion gives them the message that they aren't wanted in school. There should be more vocational studies that keep the children interested in school we can't all be an academic genius.

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  • 199. At 4:05pm on 26 Mar 2009, greyJumbug wrote:

    It depends on situation. Find out why the child is doing the truanting. Make sure they are not being bullied or they are struggling with schoolwork. If things are ok then think about punishing the parents.

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  • 200. At 6:47pm on 26 Mar 2009, coolseeshore wrote:

    In some cases it is not the parents to blame. As a School Teacher I talk to parent who are very supportive but can not control their own children. I feel Schools should be give more power to deal with pupils that are acting badly in class and around the School. This would eliminate non attenders because of bullying.

    In the Schools I have worked in pupils can do almost anything they want. few are shown the door and made to go somewhere else as there isn't many places for them to go. Most Teachers and Head teachers feel they have their hands tied. Well behaved children see badly behaved children doing what they want with little reprimand because of our lack of power.

    In the work place if a person doesn't do their job they lose it why shouldn't this happen in school? We all needs to do more to help raise the value of education and it's importances in life.

    It is sad to see lovely children come to School in year 7 and have to change their work ethos for fear of being picked on if they work hard.

    It becomes a circle, pupils don't attend so they get behind in their work, so they don't come to school for fear of being the one behind others. As teachers do we then spend our time helping the non attenders catch up which can then stop the other going forward.....?

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  • 201. At 7:52pm on 26 Mar 2009, phillip wrote:

    When i was at school in the the 1954 on wards if you did not attend school for what ever reasons the next day a man came round to your house to find out from your parents wnat the reason was this guy was called THE SCHOOL BOARD MAN so why in this day and age can the local schools not provide the same persons to act nad if no proper explanation is given take the parents to court

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  • 202. At 7:57pm on 26 Mar 2009, brentr wrote:

    A few years ago I took some students to the USA and we came across an interesting approach which recognises that both parents and their children are responsible for truancy.

    Once a child has been absent without good cause for a set period of time the parent(s) are asked to meet with school staff and other parents who have dealt successfully with truancy. If the parents refuse to attend they have $25 deducted at source for each day of absence. If they accept advice, the parents and child have 14 days to start attending fully. The parents receive a lot of help during this period.

    If, after 14 days of fines or a lack of progress, the child is taken away to a residential unit from 17.00 on Friday until 17.00 on Sunday. Whilst there the children are taught in small groups and the discipline is tight.

    Few children return and in that State at least, school attendance rose significantly.

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  • 203. At 7:58pm on 26 Mar 2009, kingSharron wrote:

    HOORAY , HOORAY . At last an article on women/girls taking part in sport. There is a huge gender difference and i beleive it is partially due to the lack of media coverage of girls/women teams in sport on the T.V and newspapers.
    If we see more women/girls teams on T.V this will encourage more girls to take part in sport at club level.

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  • 204. At 10:46am on 27 Mar 2009, greygeronimo wrote:

    Instead of punishing the parents we should look at the reasons why kids truant. The message Iget is that it is BORING, so lets try and make it interesting and fun. The curriculum seems all wrong. Why the emphasis on science,advanced maths and design technology. As I see it a better option would be: the three Rs, history, geography, a foreign language (optional), a musical instrument (optional), religion, sports and drama(optional). At the age of fourteen those who wish to follow a more advanced academic path could study advanced maths, science,literature etc. There also needs to be more participation by the kids, such as school councils comprising reperesentatives of the pupils, staff and govenors. The aim should be to encourage kids to want to go school, like the kids in the African villages.

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  • 205. At 11:19am on 27 Mar 2009, PixieGodmother wrote:

    How easy it is to 'blame the parents'. No matter that our schools are in SIC (in a State of Crisis), that our kids are stressed from an early age with relentless testing and ranking. That like sheep they are herded from an early age into classes that are too large for the individual attention that some need. Bullies lurk in every playground, not to mention in many classrooms, at times disguised as teachers. Perhaps we need to 'walk the walk' of the child and look at our schools from the perception of the child. Not all parents are blameless, as none are perfect, but most do their best in difficult and trying times. I was an habitual truant from my first weeks at secondary school to my premature last. Today I'm a director of a software company, having worked my way up the ranks with an attendance record second to none. You work it out!

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  • 206. At 7:28pm on 30 Mar 2009, beegee09 wrote:

    I think that the school needs to do more alot more. We had trouble with our son, i ended up taking him to school walking him into the office. By the time i got home i had a message saying he was not in school. i done this for about three weeks and in the end gave up. i was doing all i could do but the school failed to keep him there. But even then i was told i could go to court.

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  • 207. At 3:34pm on 01 Apr 2009, Lordlucarne wrote:

    Years ago we had 'Approved' schools where troublesome students were sent, they have a similar system in France also. There is a total lack of discipline in British society, this has evolved from outlawing corporal punishment in schools and giving children too much consideration in the decision making process. The police dare not arrest them as the bleeding heart liberal brigade in the UK will defend whatever bad behaviour is committed.
    The French have the answer & it works there. All children get 2 chances at school, this includes truancy and showing disrespect to the teaching staff, after the first event a letter is sent to the parents informing them of the offence and that one more 'crime' will result in the system taking over & the child will be 'sentenced' to a spell at a special boarding school, apparently one spell is sufficient to tow the child back into line.
    Stop fannying around with troublesome kids & start showing them who'se in charge, because at the moment they are!

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  • 208. At 3:46pm on 01 Apr 2009, Lordlucarne wrote:

    Kids today have no boundaries, if they are rude at school the teachers have no recourse for disciplining the child, they can't touch them, they can't detain them without the parents' permission so the kids just stick their fingers up to society, a society that has made the bed it now lies in.
    Until some serious forms of discipline are introduced into Brit society things will get worse, much worse!
    The Brirtish have no balls anymore, especially the politicians, whilst you let these kids wipe their feet on you they'll keep treating you like a doormat, & that doesn't breed respect!

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  • 209. At 09:30am on 05 Apr 2009, Althuda wrote:

    Do ppl actually get paid to think up these stupid ideas? I wish I could think of something as stupid as "sending parents to jail because their kid(s) play truant".

    When my son was 13, he played truant and the school did absolutely nothing about it. I dropped him off at the main entrance, waited untill he had actually entered the school only to find out, when he did not return home at the end of school time, he had left the school by the rear entrance. Not once, not one single time dis anyone from the school contact me to say "Your son is not in school, where is he?"

    Now, who pays for cost of keeping the parents in jail? It is not it the Local Authority? it the Education Department or is it the likes of you and I, pensioners? Sum up the total cost of sending a mother to jail of keeping any othewr children she may have in foster care and the many other costs involved.

    Personally, I think if teachers made school and its subjects more interesting the children would actually want to go to school, I know I did.

    Jack Straw, in his infinite wisdom, or should that be stupidity, tells us we need bigger prisons to house offenders. The time is rapidly approaching when the Justice Department will have to put a wall around the whole country, except the Palace of Westminster of course, I mean, thats where most criminals practice their occupations.

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  • 210. At 10:51pm on 14 Apr 2009, magicconnieann wrote:

    I had a daughter with schoolphobia which really is that widely recognised. Although the schools did the best they could it was down to me in the end. It was a long hard struggle but she did stay at school but I think if she was taught at home she would have achieved at lot more academically.

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  • 211. At 7:51pm on 22 Apr 2009, tabikat wrote:

    I would jail the kids to be honest - send them to a secure unit for a few days and that should solve the problem. Each time they bunk off, add a day to the sentence.

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  • 212. At 3:44pm on 23 Apr 2009, jamesluver1993 wrote:

    Hey my name is Kristen and im here to say that no parents do not deserve to take the blame or get in trouble for what there children do.Like take me for insatants. I just got put in a shelter the other day for missing to much school but the thing is is that there saying that i missed more days then i really did.And im proving that right now.But because of this they found my mother unfit and neglectful.But shes really not its my fault whats been happing to me not hers.My mom cant force me to do everything that i dont want to do but does the state belive that? No they dont they always think it the parents fault.But it dosent matter because what us kids are doing to are selfs were always putting our mothers through and right now my mom is trying to get me back home and god what would i do to go back home. Ive learned from my mistakes and ill never do nothnig wrong again.Trust me kids you dont want this.But if you can my email adress is if you can plz try and help us so i can go back home to my mom. And by the way im only 16

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  • 213. At 08:52am on 26 Apr 2009, lovemyauditt wrote:

    I don't think parents should be jailed. The problem is that when the law changed to stop parents smacking children, we took away the way in which parents controled their children without giving/teaching them any other methods. When you take something away, it must be replaced with another method. Parents need to be taught positive parenting methods to support them bringing up children. This should start at nursery school, if the school feel children have behaviour issues. Young people have children and some are given so much by the state that they feel no responsibility towards their child, so they pass on the behaviour control too. Bringing up well balanced children is so difficult, and vulnarable parents need so much support. Children know their rights and this can sometimes leave parents /teachers frustrated with nowhere to turn. I totaly belive children should be treated with respect and not be physically /verbally abused. With good parenting our children will learn what they live with.

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  • 214. At 9:33pm on 06 May 2009, quietdunningtonlad wrote:

    sometimes, just sometimes in our life we need to learn that we cannot always have things our own way and that we need to conform for the greater good of those around us.

    That applies to parents and schools.

    As a nation we seem able to breed lots of unfortunate young people who are destined to go nowhere from an early stage in their development.

    We need an unequivocal message to parents, ' Get a grip of your kids, give them a good family basis to build on, teach them acceptable values, make them aware of other people's needs, explain that they cannot always have what their heart desires and that freedom brings responsibility' Then and only them, we'll move forward.

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  • 215. At 2:08pm on 07 May 2009, Johnfrum wrote:

    Unfortunately a mother's unswerving loyalty
    to her children can cause her to vex authorities with ridiculous lies. In these cases perhaps jail is the best thing.

    However, parents can only do so much. The child may consistently and deceitfully play truant. Or it may be that the child is out of control.

    It gets to the stage that parents cannot do right for doing wrong. You are often dealing with hormonal adolescents and the parents have to tread a fine line between two extremes of breaking the law.

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  • 216. At 2:14pm on 07 May 2009, Johnfrum wrote:

    Re 214: Unfortunately people, even parents
    exist on double standards. I was brought up to believe in a morality that went out of the window as soon as it worked against my
    family's interests.

    My father taught me to sympathise with what people had suffered in life, but bullied with rows about "I puts things behind me" so he did not have to reciprocate. My sister, having sucked me dry of sympathy, then abused me into breakdowns and abused me in the throes of a breakdown so she did not have to reciprocate.

    I was picked on for every little thing I did, but my siblings were excused and |II was abused for objecting. My father, like most, had a moveable feast of morality, which required him to bully the most vulnerable with stupid remarks.

    He was a staunch Christian; I puts things behind me would not wash on the day of judgement.

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  • 217. At 2:18pm on 07 May 2009, Johnfrum wrote:

    Re 214: Unfortunately people, even parents,
    exist on double standards. I was brought up to believe in a morality that went out of the window as soon as it worked against my family's interests.

    My father taught me to sympathise with what people had suffered in life, but bullied me with rows about "I puts things behind me" so he did not have to reciprocate. My sister, having sucked me dry of sympathy, then abused me into breakdowns and abused me in the throes of a breakdown so she did not have to reciprocate.

    I was picked on for every little thing I did, but my siblings were excused and I was abused for objecting. My father, like most, had a moveable feast of morality, which required him to bully the most vulnerable with stupid remarks.

    N.B. I just corrrected mistakes so it made more sense.
    He was a staunch Christian; I puts things behind me would not wash on the day of judgement.

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  • 218. At 5:26pm on 23 May 2009, schatzie08 wrote:

    Im glad that I happened to see this blog because im am doing a paper on whether parents should be responsible for teens behaviors. I argued that its the teens fault, not the pareants. Teens should have known what is right and wrong. Teens are responsible for their own actions and decisions- NOT THE PARENTS. I can see if the parents were in on the crime too, but most of the time NO. When kids do something bad, they wont ever let their parents know; they hide things from their parent(s) because they would know that what they are doing is bad. But the things is, they choose to committ crimes already knowing what that could mean. They make themselves look bad, and also the parents look like they did not discipline them enough. Its not fair to the parents that they get punished for their teens misdemeanors.
    I believe that if a teen chooses to be a trouble maker, they should be punished.....maybe even punished like an adult! Parents should not be responsible for their teens ignorant-stupid- and careless choices.

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  • 219. At 10:18am on 26 May 2009, catscoheather wrote:

    Truancy is both the responsibility of the school and the parents. Just this morning I watched my neighbours daughter sidle of to the garage shop in her casuals (Ive just got out of bed) as her friends boarded the bus to school. This is a regular occurrence for this girl who has only just reached teenage years. Although this girl has a lot to say for herself I overheard a conversation between herself and a neighbour and she didnt know what 100% of something was!! Yet the same girl left her parents house at 11.30 last night to go wandering around.

    Making your child go to school is not just something you should do but is an act of caring. I would have thought that this particular girl had enough problems to deal with she is obese, she more than is twice the size of her friends (not much chance of employment there when she leaves school, nobody wants to employ a health hazard) what is the point of making it appear that she is thick too. And believe me there is no chance of this girl being bullied at school, in fact I would have to say she is more likely to be the bully, so we want use that excuse.

    The teachers should be asking why this girl is not in school and if the parents are claiming sickness as a reason for her non-appearance perhaps they should be recommending a visit to the school doctor for a complete medical. I know as do the rest of the neighbourhood that she doesnt go to school because she doesnt want too and her parents really dont care if she is there or not. As far as I am concerned both the teachers and the parents are at fault for letting this child slip through the educational cracks in the Dumfries schools.

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