Search

Poll: Council’s crackdown on pupil absence in Redbridge

07:00 19 June 2014

Redbridge Town Hall in High Road, Ilford.

Redbridge Town Hall in High Road, Ilford.

Archant

Parents should not be punished for taking their children out of school during term time to learn about their cultural heritage, according to a union chief.

Kash Mallick, Redbridge divisional secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said the educational benefits of children visiting their families’ homelands, such as India and Pakistan, was as important as lessons in the classroom.

But he said parents cashing in on cheaper holidays should not be treated with similar leniency.

His claims come as new figures reveal fines for unauthorised absences have quadrupled in eight years.

A Freedom of Information Act request submitted by the Recorder found that 1,948 parents have received a School Attendance Penalty Notice during the current academic year.

In 2007 the number of fines dished out by Redbridge Council was just 495.

Parents taking their children out of school face a £60 fine each, per child. If it is not paid within 21 days fines increase to £120.

Mr Mallick said: “Children who go to their own country for two to three weeks is something they cannot do with the school – that type of education is as important and is something they would benefit from. It is wrong for the government to prevent that.”

He added: “People who are indigenous to this country do not have an understanding of how rich and how important the education and learning that goes on when children go abroad to their own country is.”

But Cllr Elaine Norman, Redbridge Council cabinet member for children, said: “I think the fining system has been effective. It’s important that children do not miss school. If they are taking long holidays in term time they miss key stages of the curriculum.”

Latest News Stories

15:00
Kit Enright, 89 and  John Esqulant, 86. Picture: Sandra Rowse

Residents at a Wanstead care home danced the afternoon away in the sunshine for their annual garden party.

Laughing gas canisters found in Woodford Green. Picture: @hamapesh

Redbridge Council are looking to ban the use of nitrous oxide and other legal highs within the borough.

One of the positives of South Park, which has face recent issues with vandals.

South Park volunteers are concerned that the anti-social behaviour after dark is ruining the recent playground refurbishments.

Yesterday, 15:00
Edith Sutton celebrates her 100th birthday with family

A woman who has seen two world wars, while working tirelessly to provide for her family, has enjoyed a well deserved party after reaching a birthday milestone.

Most read news

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder