Pupil’s 2% school attendance shame

News story
News story

THE mother of a Wigan school child with an attendance rate of two per cent has been given a warning she could face jail.

Magistrates called for a vast improvement and told her she “must stand up to her children” after hearing the youngster had not attended class since November.

The child’s sibling, who is enrolled at the same borough high school, had notched up an attendance rate of just 62 per cent, the court was also told.

Addressing the mother, who sobbed in the dock at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court this week, the presiding magistrate said: “This is viewed very dimly by the court.

“It is your responsibility to ensure your children receive an education.

“If their attendance rate does not improve you will go to prison.

“Do you realise how serious this is?“We do not want to see you back in court.

“Please listen to the authorities that are there to help you and you will get there.”

The court heard one of her children, a year seven pupil, had attended two out of 84 school sessions between December and February, with all of the absences deemed as unauthorised.

Local authority officers said the mum had been visited on numerous occasions to try to resolve the problems but had not made contact with the school “of her volition”.

On one occasion, the mother informed officers the child with a two per cent attendance rate had been receiving medical treatment at a facility, only to be informed that particular facility had been closed for more than a year.

The 53-year-old pleaded guilty to two aggravated charges of failing to ensure regular attendance at school contrary to the Education Act, which can lead to a custodial sentence.

She was handed a 12-month community order with a rehabilitation requirement and ordered to undertake 100 hours of unpaid work.

Mark Ferguson, defending, said his client had been suffering from several medical issues and was well aware of her responsibilities with her children’s education.

He said: “It’s right to say she has not been assertive.

“She has let herself down with her lack of cooperation with the authorities who are trying to help.”