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 Ilford News Stories

Wanstead Players are putting on a show at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford. It's a post war play set in Cornwall about a woman who falls in love with her son in law.

A round up of news from the borough’s clubs and societies.

Tthe main entrance to Howe Barracks in Canterbury, Kent. Picture: PA/Gareth Fuller

A leading housing charity has said Redbridge Council’s plan to move 208 homeless families to Canterbury could have a ‘devastating impact on their lives’.

17:30
Lag B’Omer barbecue at Wohl Ilford Jewish Primary School, Forest Road, Barkingside. Picture: Wohl Ilford Jewish Primary School

The Jewish community came together for a barbecue to celebrate Lag Ba’Omer yesterday.

13:42
From left to right, Raphina Williams, Leanne Mohamad, London Fire Brigade borough commander Steve Brown and Usama Shazad. Picture: Jack Petchey Foundation

A young public speaker has bagged a top prize after delivering an inspirational speech.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe