School Attendance and the Prosecution of Parents: Effects and effectiveness

Sally Kendall, Kay Kinder, Richard White, Karen Halsey, Nicola Bedford

04 October 2004

First report

School attendance and prosecution for non-attendance should not be considered in isolation from wider social, and economic and cultural contexts. However, whilst the law regarding school attendance stands, a system of enforcement is required.

These were the views of Education Welfare Service (EWS) staff and managers who took part in the research conducted by the NFER between May 2002 and October 2003, which examined the effects and effectiveness of the prosecution of parents in relation to non-attendance at school.

The study, sponsored by the Local Government Association as part of its Educational Research programme, involved interviews with Principal Education Welfare Officers (PEWOs) and other EWS staff, local authority officers with responsibilty for prosecutions, magistrates, clerks to the court, and interviews with families who had been prosecuted.

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