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Child benefit docked if truanting fines unpaid

Discussion in 'Education news' started by emerald52, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Of course.
    It's all part of the problem of **** parenting.

    "These families are unaware of the threat of fines"

    Ignorance of the law is no defence. They'll soon become aware.

    "They do not solve the problem of a child who is missing school because they are being bullied or because they are struggling to catch up with their peers."

    Bullying, what a surprise, is there a more misused excuse? Oh what a terrible person I am for suggesting it, perhaps it's because I've seen so many bullies use it to turn the tables when they are accused. This doesn't happen in isolation, the school can get involved and can find out the truth.

    Most cases of long term truanting I have been aware of and involved with are because the child doesn't want to go to school and the parent doesn't care. At some point parent and child are going to have to do something that neither of them like and stop hiding behind excuses. How many families with "multiple problems" have effective parents? The circle needs to be broken for everyone's sake, if it's not happening voluntarily someone needs to do something, saying "This is not the way to behave" is the first step, doing something to make them take action is the next.
  2. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    As some one who in the past did work experience with the EWO folk the reasons for non attendance can be many and varied...in some cases children who are carers for their parents and in which the local council does little or nothing to support such parents,or the parent cant afford such carers. The child stays loyal to the parent,Others use every excuse.often using the child as a form of cheap labour in the shop or 'work room',.
    Many children see school as irrelevant and boring....some are bullied and wont go. Some find more exciting things in life and deem learning in a school irrelevant. Staying to 18 is seen as a chore and maybe instead of punishing parents ministers and enforcers need to offer alternative like early entrance to trades.Or even letting children work at 16 with entrance back to learning available as the individual sees the need to gain further qualifications.
    Some how we deem learning to be gaining qualifications in certain exams and your not educated otherwise....yet one wonders how the world advanced before exams when writing was still in its infancy for most.Its not to deny learning but rather to ask are ministers, as usually they are misguided because of their social background.
    We badly equip our children for life and unless we can correlate in their minds the importance of leaning to the world of work with education we are often a wasting our time.
    We need to look as to whether the need for qualifications is actually needed beyond competency in say general education.
    We then need to ask if it would be better to form education according to the needs of the truants rather than making them conform to the system.
  3. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    And your approach to solving it is a failed one. I have pointed you in the direction of the evidence. If you choose to persist with your worldview in the face of that, then the discussion is over for me
  4. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    LOL. You're funny.

    Next you'll be objecting to the cost to the taxpayer of your own plan.
  5. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    "The verdict from the studies we have seen and the experiences of schools, local authorities, education welfare officers and parents is that for families with multiple problems, fines tend not to work."

    Not terribly conclusive evidence.

    They refer to fines that are often unpaid and sometimes written off, fines and debts can be avoided for years, deducting the fine from benefit is a different situation altogether. Not giving money for not doing something is much easier to do than getting back what has already been given. It's also the culture of rights and no responsibilities that should be addressed, and in this manner is addressed unavoidably.
  6. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Seems a sensible thing to do to me.
  7. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    I think it will be hard on those parents who, for whatever reason, have lost control of their children, and whose children just don't care about the consequences of their actions for their parents. But I also don't think that accounts for the majority of truants.
  8. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    And you're taking it as evidence that fines DO work?

    Is it in any way helping your position? Does it suggest to you that you might need to rethink your view?

    Do you do things that "tend not to work" in your daily teaching?

    Or in other spheres of your life?

    Must be interesting.

    Not only do fines "tend not to work", there are then the associated knock on problems on dysfunctional families and children already in poverty, that are generated by the fines that are not working well
  9. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    If something isn't currently working it may be that it isn't being properly implemented, not that it's a fundamentally bad idea.

    "We do know, from the Department for Education's data, that in 2010-11, some 7,902 fines were still unpaid after 42 days and 2,318 of these had been dropped by local authorities."

    So it is (or was in 2011) being implemented in a semi-voluntary manner.

    Taking the fine from child benefit removes the voluntary aspect of paying the fines. This makes the situation different to the one you have decided doesn't works.

    So does it?
  10. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    "Blah blah, fellow Tories...tough on crime/schools/inadequate, struggling parents/etc...make big promises, which will be quietly forgotten as too costly/unfeasible/won't actually work/over-simplistic...Blah blah...sound bite, sound bite..."

    Did I cover everything?
  11. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    "Getting the money" isn't the point. As someone who deals with young people - and as you said yourself, some from challenging/deprived families - surely you also see the wider picture of the effect it has on children and families?

    Fines tend not to work, there's loads of evidence to that effect from numerous sources closely involved with the type of families we are discussing. Faced with that, you cling to a straw that "tend not to work" somehow supports your opposite point of view. And now you you say things would be different if fines were better collected.
  12. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Of course fines don't work if you don't have to pay them. Of course getting the money is the point of a fine otherwise you have done nothing to attempt to correct the behaviour. Would you put a kid in detention for a misdemeanour, then let them off, see them do it again and conclude that detentions don't work?

    The "tend not to work" came from your link to your "evidence" that you thought was the final word on the matter.
  13. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    That wasn't my evidence - it was a large amount of evidence from many independent sources involved with the sorts of families we are talking about. Fines tend not to work.

    And your evidence was...?

    So, in spite of all the evidence - and even in wider circles of crime and punishment - that increasing the severity of punishment does little to deter crime, you still have the same view that fining poor, dysfunctional families will somehow have a positive result? And won't have a detrimental effect on the children.

    Have we really got no more imagination and creativity than this in 2015?
  14. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    My evidence for something new that hasn't happened yet? Well I admit you've got me there.
  15. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Parents who choose not to send their children to school for the reasons that have been discussed here, are already having a detrimental effect on their children: denying them access to an education, a hot meal during the day (if the child is in KS1 and/or the family are entitled to FSM*) and the opportunity to make social connections.

    @Scintillant - fines aside, does the myriad research you have looked at give any indication as to what methods do work in encouraging dysfunctional families to engage with the education system?

    * which would also attract pupil premium funding for the child(ren) and the opportunities afforded by it.
  16. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Bit presumptive.


    Anything by Ken Reid is worth reading

    And this is a fantastic summary with some ideas for the future:


    It describes the persistent problem that doesn't respond to punitive measures taken, the difficulties faced by people trying to improve things and what sort of approach might help.
  17. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Thanks. I skim read it. I don't think it says very much more than those of us who have worked with dysfunctional and deprived families already knew, bearing in mind it was published in 2009.
    The conclusion echoes my previous comment:

    Even after reading the research, I still uphold the view detailed in my comment above. If you or I break the law and are found guilty then we expect to have a consequence applied regardless of our financial status or family background.
    FolkFan likes this.
  18. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    Wouldn't it make more sense to tackle '**** parenting' by keeping open Sure Start centres to work with inadequate parents before their children reach school? It would also mean that the children would be ready to learn at school and less likely to truant. Fines are shutting the gate after the horse has bolted; and docking child benefit is punishing the children for being born into those families.
    bombaysapphire likes this.
  19. artboyusa

    artboyusa Star commenter

    Why does Child Benefit exist in the first place (apart from politicians buying votes with taxpayer's money, I mean)? When did it become anyone's obligation to subsidize another person's reproduction?
  20. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Monica does make some good points, however if a parent cannot be sure their child is in school or get them there they are remiss, since that young person is not necessarily safe roaming the streets and can fall foul of all sorts of criminal behaviour. My point is the parent has a duty of care to a) know where there child is and b) get the child safely to school; if they fail to do this the child may be in danger and that simply is not acceptable.

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