A BARNSLEY woman has been sentenced to prison for failing to make sure her children attended school regularly.

The woman aged 43, pleaded guilty to three charges relating to three of her children and accepted that she was also in breach of a previous suspended jail sentence from July 2015.

After hearing evidence from the prosecution, the defence solicitor and the Probation Service, the court determined that the woman had continually failed to send her children to school and had not made sufficient efforts to work with and contact the school to report the children’s absences.

The court activated her previous suspended sentence which related to five of her children failing to attend school regularly last year and ordered that she be immediately imprisoned for eight weeks.

For the new offences, the defendant was ordered to serve a further eight week prison sentence to run consecutively to the previous, meaning she would serve a total of sixteen weeks in prison. She was also ordered to pay a compulsory victim surcharge of £80 on her release from prison.

Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesperson, said: “Schools and other agencies do all they can to assist parents and carers who are experiencing difficulties in getting their children to school and prosecution is the last resort where they will not engage with these efforts.

“Those with responsibility for children have to take this matter seriously; today’s prosecution sends out a strong message that non-attendance at school will not be tolerated. Parents have a duty of care to ensure their children have regular and meaningful attendance at school, enabling them to get the best out of their education. The significant sentence handed out to this individual shows the consequences of failing to fulfil this duty.”