Join in walk to raise funds for hospice
PARENTS in west London forked out more than £100,000 in a single year for their children missing school, the Chronicle can reveal.
Parents across eight west London boroughs paid a total of £113,460 in fines during 2014/15 for their children’s term-time absences, figures from the Department for Education show.
The number of fines being issued increased nearly tenfold in parts of the capital between 2012/13, before new rules were introduced, and 2014/15.
In Ealing, 787 fines were issued during 2014/15, costing parents £34,620, compared with 437 in 2012/13.
In Brent, the number of fines doled out rocketed from 34 to 290 during the same period, and in Harrow it surged from 36 to 352.
Across west London, LOCAL charity Michael Sobell Hospice (MHS) is bringing back its annual sponsored walk on Sunday September 18.
Walkers and their fourlegged friends will stroll through Northwood, Moor Park and Rickmansworth on a three or seven mile route to raise much-needed funds for the local hospice.
Participants will set off from the Northwoodbased hospice at 9am on the day, and will put their trainers to the test along a picturesque route through the local greenery.
Three-mile participants will then be transported from their finish line at there were 2,374 fines issued to parents during 2014/15 – 71 per cent more than the 1,391 handed out in 2012/13.
Parents who failed to pay the fine were prosecuted on 99 occasions in 2014/15, slightly fewer than the 104 prosecutions in 2012/13.
Nationally, there were 151,125 fines for parents in England during 2014/15 -– 189 per cent more than the 52,370 issued in 2012/13.
The figures emerged as MPs debated a petition on Monday July 11, which calls for the controversial fines to be dropped and has more than 200,000 signatures.
The issue also hit the news recently when a father successfully challenged a £120 fine for taking his daughter on a term-time holiday.
The High Court upheld a ruling by magistrates that he had no case to answer as she had otherwise attended school regularly, but the government says it supports an appeal to the Supreme Court by Isle of Wight Spring Well Lock back to the hospice for refreshments and a certificate, while sevenmilers will join them back at base.
Entry costs £10 for adults, and £5 for children under 16. You can also buy a family ticket for £20, which covers two adults and two children.
To enter, simply pick up a registration form in any of the MSH shops in Northwood, Ruislip and Eastcote, or go online.
Sam Heggie, PR and marketing manager for MSH, said: “We last held this event three years ago, so are delighted to see the return of the annual
In Monday’s parliamentary debate, schools minister Nick Gibb said the government would set out its next steps in due course but that it remained committed to reducing overall school absence.
“The evidence is clear: every extra day of school missed can affect a pupil’s chance of gaining good GCSEs, which has a lasting effect on their life chances. That is why we take this issue so seriously,” he told fellow MPs.
Conservative MP Steve sponsored walk in aid of Michael Sobell Hospice.
“If you like walking or take the dog out for a walk on a Sunday morning, this event will be perfect for you. All ages and abilities are welcome to take part, and the route is both buggy and dog-friendly too.
“It’s a real family fun event, and all walkers should have finished their walking challenge by lunchtime, so can complete this special day by getting together with family and friends for lunch as a treat.
“Our last event helped to raise £5,523 for Michael Sobell Hospice, so we hope that we can smash this
Double, who opened the debate, said he was not convinced existing government policy was the best way to reduce persistent school absence.
He claimed head teachers should be allowed to exercise their discretion when it came to term-time leave, saying ‘they are the ones who know pupils the best’.
Since the law changed in 2013, parents are fined £60 per pupil for taking their children out of school during term-time, unless there are ‘exceptional’ circumstances. amount by encouraging all our walkers to raise as much sponsorship as possible.
“All funds raised from the walk go directly to supporting people facing life-limiting illness in our local area.”
The first sponsored walk event in aid of the hospice took place in 1984, and saw 400 walkers raise £800.
For more information, or to register, please visit the Michael Sobel Hospice website or call 020 3826 2367.
Are you planning to take part? Let us know at editorialubxbridge@ trinitysouth.co.uk