Kids warned they will have their collars felt if they’re caught not at school

ANY child spotted out and about in Chatteris, March and nearby villages and not at school is likely to have their ‘collar felt’ under a truancy sweep announced today.

The joint initiative has been launched by Cambridgeshire County Council and the police to improve school attendance in the Fenland area.

Education Welfare Officer Julie Rutterford said: “All children of compulsory school age will be stopped even if they are accompanied by parents, carers or relatives and live outside the targeted areas.”

Parents or carers of truanting pupils will then be contacted by the welfare team and their school made aware of the absence. Their future attendance will be monitored.

Ms Rutterford said the aim was to reduce levels of unauthorised absence.

“Although Cambridgeshire’s school attendance rates are in line with the national average and truancy is minimal, there is still room for improvement in Fenland,” she said.

“We want to send a clear message that it is unacceptable for a child to miss school without good reason and also that truancy is not necessarily the only explanation or cause for poor school attendance.

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“Parents of persistent absentees or truants and are being warned they could end up in court facing fines and – in a worst case scenario - imprisonment.

“Children need to be in school learning, Parents have a legal duty to ensure their child or children are attending school regularly. By missing out on school children are limiting their potential and missing out on vital learning at a particularly important stage of their lives.

“Children who attend school regularly are four times more likely to achieve five or more good GCSEs, including English and maths, than those who are persistently absent.”