Can I be fined if I don’t send my kids to school when they reopen? – The SunSeptember 1, 2020
PARENTS who don't send their children back to school in the upcoming academic year will be fined, according to the Education Secretary.
Families who ignore the government's rules on their kid's education will be hit with a penalty unless they have a "good reason". Here is everything you need to know about those fines.
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What did Gavin Williamson say about fines on LBC?
Speaking on LBC, the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “It is going to be compulsory for children to return back to school unless there is a very good reason or a local spike.
“We have to get back into compulsory education, and as part of that fines sit alongside that.
“Unless there was a good reason for the absence then we would be looking at the fact that we would be imposing fines on families if they were not sending children back.”
Under normal circumstances, when children miss school without a "good reason", each parent can be fined £60 by their local council, which rises to £120 if not paid within 21 days.
Do I have to send my kids to school when they reopen?
Schools reopened with just reception, year one and year six allowed to return to the classrooms during the coronavirus outbreak, but other years can now come back if there's space.
Secondary schools in England have also been allowed to reopen for some students from Years 10, 11 and 12 since June 15.
The Government had to abandon plans to get every primary school child back in for a month before the summer.
But not all schools have reopened fully. Some do not have the staff and others do not have the space for social distancing.
When will every age group have to return?
On July 2, Mr Williamson is releasing a statement about the full reopening of schools in September.
He said: “I want to reassure parents and families that we are doing everything we can to make sure schools, nurseries, colleges and other providers are as safe as possible for children and staff, and will continue to work closely with the country’s best scientific and medical experts to ensure that is the case.”
On June 29, Boris Johnson revealed his “ deep frustration” at some schools failing to reopen.
Appearing on Times Radio, he said: “Everyone needs to understand that schools are safe. If they can go back they should go back.
“It would be very helpful if our friends in the teachers union delivered that message and some councils.
“Everybody must go back in September.”
What have headteachers said about fining parents?
Headteachers have urged the government to allow a “period of grace” before fining parents who keep their children at home.
Geoff Barton, leader of the ASCL head teachers union told The Times the Government needs to be understanding.
He said: “We would caution the government against an expectation that penalties for non-attendance should be imposed as soon as school resumes in September.
“It would be a good idea to have a period of grace to allow confidence to build among parents, rather than attempting to force the issue from the word go.
“We are sure that most parents will want their children to attend, but there will be some who are nervous for a variety of reasons and it does not seem right to hit them with fines.”
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