Merton’s Education Welfare Service has successfully prosecuted a number of parents, whose children attend a Merton high school, for failing to ensure their children go to school regularly.

The parents, who appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates Court, were charged under the Education Act 1996 and were fined £500 each and ordered to pay costs of £120.

The prosecutions are the first of 2001 and the Education Welfare Service has promised to increase the number of prosecutions as part of its rigorous approach to tackling the problem of parents failing to ensure their children go to school.

Councillor Karl Carter, Cabinet Member for Secondary Education, said: “There are far too many parents letting their child’s education go to waste by not making sure they attend school. It is very encouraging that the courts are taking into account the negative impact non-attendance can have on the child and the wider community.”