Section 444 of the Education Act 1996
I was wondering if anyone had been in a similar situation as myself. I have a son who is 15, I am named on the birth certificate, however, I was never in a relationship with the mother. He doesn't live with me, never has but I do see him.
Long story cut very short, the school have summoned me (and mum) to school threatening me with legal action as my son does not attend school. Mother says health reasons (anxiety). Note he has not been to school this calendar year and his attendance is at 23% this school year. He has been truant for 11 of the previous 14 terms.
I have offered to take my son numerous times over the years, which she has refused (I even written correspondence saying she didn't want to give him to me because she would lose maintenance and benefits). She blocked me on all communication methods for 18 months because I kept asking if he was in school until the school told her to unblock me! To give you a taste of what i experience, if i mention school to him or mother i then don't get to see him for 3 - 4 weeks as some sort of punishment.
I have been to solicitors over the years, who basically told me there is nothing I can do, even less as he is now older. The doctors wont release information to me about his state of health. However, in the eyes of the government I am responsible for him attending school but literally no rights over how he has been bought up. Being threatened with a £2,500 fine or worse!!
Has anyone experienced this or can offer thoughts / advice.
I suggest you go to the school and explain the situation. It's important for your son to attend school and if he doesn't they can bring a case to the Magistrate's Court but that will be the last resort. There are other steps that can be taken and it would be best to discuss this with the school
That's great thank you. This will be our 3rd meeting after having 2 previous letters from the school where they set plans up for Alfie to attend school. He has failed to meet expectations on the previous and this occasion.
He is seeing a counsellor which he says he feels better after each session but still hasn't been to school for a month. I don't have him overnight so don't control whether he goes to school. My question is in relation to whether I can / will be fined for him not attending school. When I have no control over him and have stood by him through everything she has put me through. I have 3 over children with perfect attendance records.
Yes his health is important but just yesterday I got hold of medical records and found out his mum had been reported to child services for worry about his health when he was younger and the records show he feels alone (she works overnight and leaves him at home alone) all of which i was never told by her.
I'm not sure about the fine issue. I hope when you explain everything to school, they won't issue a fine. Its good that he's getting help. Have you investigated a different school/college in case of bullying issues? Has he explained why he won't go to school? Could you let him know the consequences for the parents if he doesn't go?