Mother in Cornwall jailed for child's truancy

A woman from Truro has become the first parent in Cornwall to be sent to prison for failing to ensure her child attends school, Cornwall Council says.

City magistrates heard the student at Richard Lander School missed 170 days out of 204 between January and July.

The woman, who had denied charges of failing to ensure her child attended regularly, was sentenced to 14 days in prison and 14 days in the community.

Council education officials said the prosecution had been a last resort.

The woman was charged with failing to secure the regular attendance of her child at the school where the child was registered as a pupil, breaching the 1996 Education Act, the court said.

The council's principal education welfare officer, John Heath, said he hoped the case sent a clear message to parents and carers about ensuring children attended school regularly.

He said: "Where parents are finally taken to court for school attendance offences, they do run the risk of being fined or sent to prison.

"In this case, the magistrates have reflected the seriousness of the offence by imposing a custodial sentence."

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