POLICE SENT TO HOMES OF CHILDREN ABSENT FROM SCHOOL

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POLICE SENT TO HOMES OF CHILDREN ABSENT FROM SCHOOL – Parents being threatened with jail 

Some schools in England are sending police to the homes of children who are persistently absent, or warning them their parents may go to prison if their attendance doesn’t improve.

Headteachers say they are now under intense pressure from the government to turn around the crisis in attendance, with a record 150,000 children at state schools classed as severely absent in 2022-23. From September, all state schools in England will have to share their attendance records every day with the Department for Education.

But child psychologists and parent groups are warning that the push for full attendance is driving “heavy-handed” crackdowns at some schools, and ignores the issues that often lie behind school refusal, including mental health problems, unmet special educational needs, bereavement or the child being a carer.

Ben Davis, headteacher of St Ambrose Barlow RC High in Salford, said: it was wrong that the government was trying to “vilify parents” when the vast majority of severe absences involved families who were “really struggling”, often because of issues which stemmed from poverty.

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