LAs Policy for Prosecution
The LAs Policy for Prosecution is as follows:-
The parent(s) of any pupil of compulsory school age who fails to achieve regular attendance will be considered for Court proceedings unless there are extenuating circumstances. All referrals will be considered and discussion between AST and school staff encouraged.
All parents must be given sufficient notification of their children’s attendance via the serving of official warning notices.
After communication with the LA legal team, if it is decided to initiate legal proceedings in the Magistrates Court, the AST officers will work with the school staff to produce the necessary witness statement and appropriate supporting evidence.
Who is responsible for instigating Court procedures?
The LA is responsible for all aspects of the procedure. In Telford & Wrekin this duty is delegated to the Attendance Support Team. A summons will be issued and served in accordance with the requirements of the respective Magistrates Clerks and a representative from the AST will attend court and present the prosecution case on behalf of the Local Authority. In certain circumstances legal services will ensure a Council Solicitor is made available to present cases on behalf of the Local Authority, e.g. not guilty pleas and contested cases.
A certificate signed by the Headteacher confirming the contents of the child’s school attendance register during the period of prosecution referred to in the summons will be required as documentary evidence by the court.
N.B. Only unauthorised absences can be used in evidence
If parents are acting responsibly, but cannot ensure regular attendance of their child/children because of the attitude of the child/children, what can be done?
If it is inappropriate for parents in these situations to be prosecuted in the Magistrates Court, consideration will be given to applying for an Education Supervision Order (ESO).