1,000 home visits already done under campaign

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PARENTS whose children skip school lessons are facing action by Doncaster Council as it bids to clamp down on the problem.

Bosses at the education authority are planning visits to parents, guardians and carers of pupils in the borough with less than 90 per cent attendance in primary schools and 85 per cent in secondary schools.

They are starting a month-long plan of action across the borough.

Organised by the council’s education welfare service, the crackdown is supported by 64 of Doncaster’s schools who have identified pupils with poor attendance they would like council officers to visit.

The operation will run until mid February, with around 1,000 home visits being completed so far for pupils living across the urban, south and west areas of the borough.

Doncaster Council’s cabinet member for children and young people’s services, Coun Andrea Milner, said: “The current operation has been offered to all of our schools and is a real targeted opportunity for us to make proactive and direct contact with local families and find out why some of our children and young people are not attending school as often as they should.

“I hope the campaign sends out a strong message that persistent school absence will not be tolerated.

“Our Education Welfare Officers are able to offer individual support and advice on improving school attendance and we are committed to ensuring continued progress is made in this area.”

Parents, guardians and carers who do not make improvements to their child’s school attendance risk being issued with a £50 fixed penalty notice and even face possible court action.

League tables this month highlighted the variance in truancy rates across the borough’s schools. Figures ranged from 4.7 per cent at Hayfield School, in Auckley, to 10.7 per cent at Outwood Academy Adwick.

For council help, advice and support on pupil school attendance, call 01302 737 252.