Fines for Not Sending Children to School in Septemberby Laura Driver
Yesterday Education Secretary Gavin Williamson repeated Boris Johnson's warning that from September it will be 'the law' that all children have to go to school and parents will face fines of up to £2,500 and jail time if they are prosecuted for not sending a child to school.
Refusing to send a child to school can initially result in a £60 fine - which rises to £120 if they don't pay in 21 days. If prosecuted, the theoretical maximum fine is £2,500 - which can be accompanied by jail or a community sentence.
Number 10 said returning next term will be “compulsory”, despite fears Covid-19 may still be a threat.
NASUWT chief Patrick roach said: “Ministers should think carefully before issuing warnings to parents when the Government has not yet explained how it plans to reopen schools safely.”
Labour leader Keir Starmer accused Boris Johnson of a “lack of planning” for schools return saying: “From the day schools were shut, it was obvious what needed to happen to get them back open again. The Government fell asleep at the wheel.”
Education secretary Gavin Williamson raised the prospect of fines yesterday. He said: “We do have to get back into compulsory education. We will be looking at imposing fines on families if they are not sending children back.”
Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds has criticised the Government for not putting "remotely enough effort" into reopening schools in England. Speaking on Good Morning Britain, she said: "Right now we have a really very difficult situation I would say, across England in particular... We don't have the extra space there that's needed, and yet there are a lot of buildings sitting empty - there are creative ways to sort this out." She added: "I do not think the Government has devoted remotely enough effort to sorting out the schools situation. And of course it's not just the impact on the children, as large as that is, it's the impact on the parents who have to care for children who are not in school, that's having a particularly severe impact on many single parents, obviously, and particularly on mothers.
We are already seeing many more women being furloughed, many more women are likely to become unemployed because they're having to look after children for a much longer period and they're not able to access other forms of childcare a lot of the time either."