PAR­ENTS ARE FINED OVER SON’S ‘GAM­ING’ AB­SENCE

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - IAN LEWIS Re­porter ian.lewis@waleson­line.co.uk

PAR­ENTS have been pros­e­cuted for fail­ing to send their son to school af­ter he had dizzy spells from stay­ing up all night play­ing video games.

They were among four fam­i­lies or­dered to pay a com­bined to­tal of more than £1,000 in fines and costs across West Wales for not send­ing their chil­dren to school for months at a time.

Rea­sons for ab­sences in­cluded Court on Fri­day, with all plead­ing reg­u­larly along with £68 court costs guilty to fail­ing to send chil­dren to and £30 vic­tim sur­charge. school. An­other case saw two par­ents fined

In to­tal £1,058 will be paid out in for the oc­ca­sions of non-at­ten­dance of fines and costs by the par­ents who their chil­dren at school over a pe­riod were pros­e­cuted by the au­thor­ity. of al­most an en­tire school year – from

None of the par­ents can be named Septem­ber 4, 2016, to June 23 this year. for le­gal rea­sons to pro­tect the iden­tity Bul­ly­ing was again cited along with of the chil­dren. one of the chil­dren “not want­ing to go

All but one of the par­ents were sento school”, Miss Byrne said. tenced in their ab­sence. Both par­ents, one of whom was

There was no de­fence given for un­able to at­tend court due to ill health, those par­ents who did not at­tend were fined £40 and told to pay court court. costs of £68 and vic­tim sur­charge of

One mother ap­peared in court while £30. her part­ner could not be there af­ter In their de­fence so­lic­i­tor Ashanti fall­ing ill ear­lier that morn­ing. Wal­ton said in court: “The chil­dren

Pros­e­cu­tor Kelly Byrne, from had at­tended 69% and 68% of school Car­marthen­shire coun­cil, said: “Pros­days over that pe­riod.” ecut­ing is a last re­sort for the coun­cil She added aca­dem­i­cally they were and we do try to en­gage with par­ents on a par or ahead of where they should be.andfind­so­lu­tion­stois­sues­they­may be fac­ing.” Fol­low­ing the cases the coun­cil’s

But the court heard par­ents had ex­ec­u­tive board mem­ber for ed­u­cafailed to act and re­spond suf­fi­ciently tion, Coun­cil­lor Glynog Davies, said: to warn­ings about their chil­dren’s “Car­marthen­shire coun­cil takes is­sues at­ten­dance. of non-at­ten­dance at school se­ri­ously.

In one case a mother’s two chil­dren “We of­fer a high level of ad­vice, suphad not reg­u­larly been to school port and guid­ance to fam­i­lies in the be­tween Septem­ber 2016 and May form of early in­ter­ven­tion to help this year. en­sure that all chil­dren in Car­marthen

Rea­sons given by the pros­e­cu­tion shire are able to en­gage fully in the were is­sues with bul­ly­ing and late ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties open to nights from play­ing video games. them.

Miss Byrne said: “The mother “In cases where at­ten­dance has ad­mits she was too soft in get­ting her failed to im­prove we have had no chil­dren to go to school.” op­tion other than to re­fer to court to

That mother was told to pay a fine of en­sure the ed­u­ca­tional en­ti­tle­ment of £220 for each child not go­ing to school these pupils.” bul­ly­ing, claims of ill­ness – though with no med­i­cal ev­i­dence given – and in one case a boy be­ing kept off as he was hav­ing dizzy spells from stay­ing up late at night play­ing video games.

Car­marthen­shire coun­cil brought pros­e­cu­tions against four par­ents at Llanelli Mag­is­trates’

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