We have done a study of parents, and in particular, mothers, who are fined or threatened with fines for their child’s non-attendance at school.
There are many children who need support to cope in school, and who don’t get it: they become fearful. Their parents, try as they might,
simply cannot get their children into school. Some of these parents are themselves ill or disabled. They are particularly vulnerable
families. Many have received repeated fines and threats of prison.
Many of the children and young people who do not attend school regularly have special education needs or disabilities, and/or
moderate or severe mental health problems. 40% of the children in our survey are on the autism spectrum, and most have high levels of
anxiety. Many have been bullied. Our research finds that schools often fail to tackle bullying robustly and effectively. However, in
some schools the restorative justice approach is proving very effective — this is a positive development which we are pleased to be
able to report.
Author Contact Details
Rona Epstein Coventry Law School
Geraldine Brown Coventry University
Sarah O’Flynn Roehampton University