Increase in parent prosecutions over unauthorised absences

Statistics provided by the Ministry of Justice show that more than 100 parents are being prosecuted per school day for children being absent from school without permission.

The figures show that the number of people taken to court for unauthorised absences has increased by nearly two-thirds in four years, with nearly 20,000 people prosecuted annually, The Telegraph has reported.

Seventy-five percent of those which were found guilty were handed fines, 26 were jailed and 1,041 were given community sentences, figures for 2014-15 show.

In addition to this, the Cystic Fibrosis Holiday Fund, a group which raises money for children with the life-limiting illness, has said that parents who take their sick children out of school during term time have also been prosecuted.

The figures mark a 61 per cent increase since 2011, when Michael Gove, the then Education Secretary, vowed to curb the number of unauthorised absences in primary schools.

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