Mother Jailed for Daughter’s Truancy in UK

by Gopalan on  February 26, 2009 at 2:36 PM Education News   - G J E 4
 Mother Jailed for Daughter’s Truancy in UK
A 11-year-old girl's truancy has led to the imprisonment of her mother in UK. The mother was handed a 60-day sentence magistrates after she admitted her failure to persuade the girl to go to school.

Danielle missed 90 per cent of her schooling last summer and more recently, with the threat of prison hanging over her mother, she still only attended lessons 60 per cent of the time.

Lisa Walker, 41, a jobless mother-of-three living off benefits, failed to co-operate with attempts by the authorities to help her and her main explanation for her daughter's truancy was 'some mornings she won't get up.'

She was given a 56-day jail sentence during the summer holidays in 2004 and again Wednesday Leeds Magistrates' Court heard the experience had done nothing to solve the problem.

Nigel Augustin, prosecuting, said council officials had been working with the single mother and her child to 'encourage' her back to Whingate Primary School in Leeds.

'The defendant failed to take an opportunity offered to her,' he said.

Walker was visited several times last July and August and a child protection conference had been called in which Walker agreed to make an effort to get Danielle to school. Still Danielle wont oblige.

Passing sentence, bench chairman Phyllis Caffoor said:'We have had to consider that she is an 11-year-old child whose life will be significantly disadvantaged if she does not receive the required education.

'You have not responded to previous orders. You have not co-operated with all the various agencies who, on numerous occasions, have endeavoured to assist you and facilitate Danielle's attendance at school.'

Walker was asked if she understood and replied: 'Yeah, course mate.'

Members of her family wept as she was led away in handcuffs, swearing at reporters in court.

Walker's other children are Dominic, 20, and Jade, 17. They were playing truant, along with six-year-old Danielle, when Walker was first jailed, for her second offence, Chris Brooke reported for Daily Mail.

Ros Vahey, deputy chief executive of Education Leeds, said: 'Parents and carers have a legal responsibility to ensure their children go to school.

'Attendance is something we take very seriously and legal action is very much a last resort, but in exceptional cases we have to use the full force of the law.

'We will now continue in our efforts to bring this child back into full-time education so she can get the most out of her time at school.'

Source: Medindia

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