HC Deb 20 November 2003 vol 413 cc1491-2W
Andy King

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will advise local education authorities that they should seek a conditional discharge from magistrates when taking lone parents to court for the truancy of their children rather than seeking a fine. [139973]

Mr. Ivan Lewis

It is for magistrates to decide how to dispose of a case where a parent is prosecuted for truancy and, if imposing a fine, they must take into account the parent's means to pay.

It would not be appropriate to advise local education authorities to seek a conditional discharge in all cases involving lone parents as each case should be considered on its own facts.

The Department has issued guidance to all local education authorities on prosecuting parents including advice on the range of ways in which the court may dispose of a case and mitigating factors.

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