Two parents who failed to ensure their children went to school regularly have been taken to court.

Both parents had failed to work with the schools and City of York Council to make sure their children attended.

They were initially issued with a fine as an alternative to prosecution. They didn’t pay it, prompting the council to prosecute.

In one case, the parent – who can’t be named for legal reasons – had previously been prosecuted for their children’s poor attendance at both primary and secondary school.

The parent pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a Community Order with an electronically monitored curfew between 5pm and 7am for seven months.

The parent was also order to pay prosecution costs of £140, and a court surcharge of £85.

Court a ‘last resort’

York Magistrates’ Court. Photograph: YorkMix

The other case concerned the parent of a child registered at a secondary school. The parent opted to plead guilty and was fined £69, ordered to pay prosecution costs of £50 and a £30 court surcharge.

Both parents had failed to provide the schools with acceptable reasons for much of their children’s absence and the schools had therefore marked the absence as unauthorised.

The prosecution was heard by York Magistrates on November 6.

York schools have a 4.2 per cent absence – the national average is 4.6 per cent.

Councillor Stuart Rawlings, executive member for education, children and young people, said:

These are unusual cases because our schools and the council work very hard – and largely successfully – with parents to ensure that attendance levels in York are above the national and regional averages.

“However, where appropriate, we will use court as a last resort in order to protect the interests of children who are being denied the education to which they are entitled.