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Forty children stopped in truancy clean-up op

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 20, 2014

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FORTY children who should have been at school were stopped and questioned as part of a two-day truancy clean-up operation.

As part of Derbyshire County Council’s drive to ensure pupils are in school and learning, its education welfare officers worked with the police to carry out a truancy sweeps in Swadlincote.

The majority of children stopped were accompanied by parents or carers who gave reasons for being absent and these will now be investigated.

Kevin Gillott, Derbyshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for children and young people, said: “We are working hard with schools and families to get the message across that every day matters. If you aren’t in school, you can’t be learning.

“We will be following up all the cases with the schools to find out whether there is a pattern of non-attendance and what can be done to help.”

The sweeps took place in truancy hotspots in Swadlincote and the surrounding area on Tuesday and Friday last week as part of a co-ordinated campaign in conjunction with schools.

Seventeen young people were stopped on Tuesday and 23 were stopped on Friday. Those questioned were aged between six and 16 and all except one were accompanied.

Councillor Gillott added: “Attendance has improved in the last 10 years which is down to a combined effort by schools, parents, the council and police to encourage attendance and discourage unauthorised absence and truancy.

“We intend to continue to work with families and schools in order to deliver on our ambition of providing the best education possible for children.”

Further truancy sweeps are planned in the coming months.

FOUR parents are due to appear in court charged with failing to send their children to school regularly.

All four did not attend court and their cases have been adjourned.

Lisa Morris, of Orchard Street, Burton, is charged with failing to send Callum Barks to school regularly between January 6 and May 13. However, she was on holiday and her case has been adjourned until July 3.

Heather Weir, of Edmonton Place, Winshill, is charged with failing to send Holly Weir to school regularly between January 27 and May 9, and her case has been adjourned until July 3 to clarify the charge.

Finally Samantha Roe, of Rosewood Road, Stapenhill, and Kevin Platt, 32, of Sycamore Road, Stapenhill, are jointly charged with failing to send Jack Roe to Paulet High School regularly between February 17 and May 9.

They both deny the charge and will appear at court to stand trial on a date to be fixed.

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