SOME Barnsley parents have been jailed over their child's poor school attendance record, it has emerged.

Over the last five years, 402 court cases were heard by Barnsley Magistrates relating to truancy incidents -two parents were sent to prison, three were given suspended sentences and 36 were given parenting orders, which gives them instructions on how to be better parents. Most received fines.

A Barnsley Council spokesman said: "Decisions on whether to take court action are made on a case by case basis and only as a last resort. Guidelines on legislation and protocols regarding prosecutions are used."

Figures released by the government show that there are almost 15,000 children enrolled in primary and secondary schools in Barnsley - out of these almost 800 are classed as persistent absentees, missing days of school.