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Skiving hotspots targeted by council

Tuesday May 24 2016

Barnsley Council Barnsley Council

SKIVING hotspots in Barnsley have been targeted by a council and police patrol to try and cut down on unauthorised school absences. 

Barnsley Interchange, Cheapside shopping precinct, Mandela Gardens and the Alhambra were visited by the patrol during a school day earlier this month.

The aim was to stop and challenge parents with school-age children, as well as children without an adult, to raise awareness of the importance of school attendance.

In total, 20 pupils were stopped and challenged over their reasons for not being in school.

Twelve were primary age and eight were secondary age.

Six of the secondary pupils were unaccompanied.

The reasons for absence given by parents, or unaccompanied children, varied, but either illness or medical appointments were the most common.

Coun Tim Cheetham, Cabinet spokesperson for People (Achieving Potential), said: “Where parents claimed their children were not fit for school, discussions took place about the appropriateness of the child being out of the home when unwell.

“All relevant schools were informed by the patrol officers that the parent and child had been stopped so the school could make a decision whether to authorise the child’s absence, or record it as unauthorised. In addition, the school’s education welfare officer was informed so that follow-up action could take place as required.

"All the pupils and parents challenged were given printed information to explain the reason for the sweep and, where the absence was for medical reasons, advised to return to school as soon as the appointment was completed."

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Reply Posted by Hmm on Tuesday May 24 2016 at 12:48
Do we really need a dedicated patrol team of police to check the town centre for school kids? Didn't he police say they had put on patrols looking for the druggies and things anyway? Are these patrols blind to children? Shouldn't a town centre patrol be going to the Alhambra, cheap side and the bus station ANYWAY?

How about instead of having a dedicated litter patrol, child patrol, druggie patrol, shoplifter patrol, kidnapper patrol and God knows what other patrols all walking same area we have police who can use common sense and deal with any crime they see?

Reply Posted by Iain on Tuesday May 24 2016 at 13:41
NANNY STATE .. wasting money on low grade public service whilst cutting support for those whom really need it .. we should chang our slogan from Better Barnsley to Wake up Barnsley.

Reply Posted by Wagger in the 80's on Tuesday May 24 2016 at 15:41
In the 80's the best place for wagging it was in BHS cafe!

Reply Posted by General Lee on Tuesday May 24 2016 at 21:30
Oh Yeh that was me ... I still Know more than what today's Teachers preach .. Home schooled my brood, got an Engineer, a Law Degree and Mum of Two ( to same Dad ) not on Drugs or seen inside of a prison and went on Holiday together when we wanted not when a self serving member of the council said we should .. Fetched up not dragged up ... no school can teach that.

Reply Posted by Interesting on Wednesday May 25 2016 at 14:57
What age were your children when you finished home schooling? Where did they take their exams? Did they have to attend a school or a college to take GCSEs and A levels and did you have to pay for this privately?

Reply Posted by General Lee on Thursday May 26 2016 at 21:36
Hi, No you have the right to withdraw your Child and Home School at any time. Just Contact The Barnsley Council Department for Education and they will guide you through the process, Its not a walk in the park and you must get the key stage material for your child's age group ... n make them study with you .. but its easy. We even did a day at the Metrodome every week, You have to fund all the books and course work yourself and there is no support or help from any education department apart from a yearly visit. Exams are paid for and your child is registered to take them at the nearest school when appropriate, you must keep copies of all your child's work and make sure they play out when their friends come home from school and have the same term times so it all seems normal .. our kids loved it .. no detentions and petty school rules but went to the same dance lesions and weekend football clubs ... they got into college no problem with their friends ... and then it was up to them.. with us watching quietly from behind the scenes .

Reply Posted by gh on Tuesday May 24 2016 at 20:18
i wouldn't worry too much police and council cant tackle peel sq when all offenders are under there noses sort that law infringments out first

Reply Posted by No scapegoats on Thursday May 26 2016 at 17:18
Tackling the Peel Square problem of drug addicts and alcoholics is massive and cannot be solved overnight, it didn't arise overnight either.
Please don't use this as a scapegoat for the authorities wanting to have a blitz on school truants.
Fifteen years time, some of these will be sat in what's left of peel square off their heads on whatever will be the next poison unless their parents get a grip.

Reply Posted by Parent on Wednesday May 25 2016 at 17:10
Good. I am glad these people were spoken to. And it's better that specialists did it, as can you imagine the outcry if it was police dealing with drug addicts who took time out to challenge parents dragging their kids round town during school time? A lot of Barnsley residents despise the police as much as teachers, education, homeless people, refugees, immigrants....the list is endless!

ipso Regulated