More than 20 parents have been hauled before the courts in a crackdown on Solihull mums and dads who fail to send their children to school.
Fines ranging from £65 to £525 have been dished out to parents over the past year – with extra legal costs more than doubling the demand for cash in some cases.
A total of 26 mums and dads were fined after prosecutions were launched by council officials.
In one case, a guardian was taken to court because a child had an attendance record of just 7.1 per cent – meaning they attended only 11 out of a total of 153 sessions.
Solihull Council’s cabinet member for children and young people, Coun Norman Davies, said the authority would not allow children to throw their chance of an education away because their parents did not make sure they were in classes.
He said: “The message is clear. Parents, guardians and carers who do not ensure their child’s regular attendance at school will not go unnoticed.
“We work closely with schools and families to ensure the highest levels of school attendance in Solihull, but we will issue fixed penalty notices or begin court proceedings against parents if necessary.”
Most of the 26 prosecutions related to absences involving children of secondary school age, with five relating to primary-age youngsters.
Bob Stapley, regional spokesman for the National Union of Teachers, said more could be done by the government to reduce truancy levels through scrapping an “oppressive testing regime” which, he claimed, was in danger of leaving some young people “feeling like failures”.
He said: “I can understand it must be difficult at times for parents to physically ensure their child attends school, but they do have that responsibility.We would hope the parents taken to court would be those who are not making the effort.”