Jump to content

$70 fine if a child misses school


  • Please log in to reply
59 replies to this topic

#1 Lagom

Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:46 AM

QUOTE
Parents who cannot come up with a good reason why their child missed school face a $70 fine from next year in Victoria.

News Limited says the crackdown is aimed at parents whose children are absent without a reasonable excuse for more than five days in a year and who won't co-operate with the school to improve attendance.

Excuses such as taking the child shopping, visiting friends or relatives or other leisure activities won't cut it with the Department of Education, which will be issuing the penalties.

The paper says that currently, problem parents who let their children miss school must be taken to court in order for a fine to be issued but no one has been pursued under the existing legislation.


Here is the article.

What do you think?

#2 noi'mnot

Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:50 AM

I think it's stupid. Addressing the reasons for school non-attendance would be much more useful than forcing parents to pay fines.

#3 ComradeBob

Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:54 AM

Exactly. Helping people address the reasons why they think that school is less important than other activities would be a far more sensible way of addressing chronic absenteeism.

#4 Therese

Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:56 AM

I also think it is a stupid idea. Looking at the big picture and trying to address the reasons some families have low attendance levels seems like a much better thing to do.



#5 RealityBites

Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:56 AM

We are every day school attendees and I still think it's stupid. I am still the parent. Also fairly hypocritical when I was reading an article on the weekend about homeschooling and how so many children in Australia are not even 'in the system' at all.
And how are they chasing up money from lower income earners, or neglectful parents who just CBF?

#6 EssentialBludger

Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:57 AM

I think it would primarily be aimed at those cases that already have DOCS involvement and parents who just don't GAF about their child's education. In which case I think the idea has merit.

I don't think the general population of loving parents need to worry too much.

#7 lilmissmars

Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:57 AM

I think it's fine. But then again my son only missed 4 days of school last year with genuine health reasons not to go.

I actually know people who have let their kids miss school so they (the parent) could have a sleep in. I am certain they would not do this in a fit if it would start costing them money as a repercussion!

#8 Persnickety_

Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:58 AM

I think it is a terrible idea, in my experience the kids that have the most unexplained absences from school come from the families least likely to be able to pay $70 fines.

#9 noi'mnot

Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:59 AM

QUOTE (EssentialBludger @ 11/02/2013, 09:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it would primarily be aimed at those cases that already have DOCS involvement and parents who just don't GAF about their child's education. In which case I think the idea has merit.

I don't think the general population of loving parents need to worry too much.



So how is a fine going to help here? How is that going to make these parents cooperate with the school so that their children get an education? It's not going to make them GAF about their child's education, it's going to make them p*ssed off at the school!!!

#10 ElevenYears

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:06 AM

How's that going to work?  It doesn't take that much nouse to write 'explosive dihorrea' on the form rather than 'we took the day off to watch DVDs and play'.

And yeah, there'd be no extending that nation wide, as there are communities where student attendence rate is as low as 53% (according to some random trawling through MySchool, so there are probably lower ones I just didn't find). That would be a whole lot of taking parents to court in towns that don't even have a full time court house.

#11 Nepheline

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:07 AM

QUOTE (noi'mnot @ 11/02/2013, 09:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So how is a fine going to help here? How is that going to make these parents cooperate with the school so that their children get an education? It's not going to make them GAF about their child's education, it's going to make them p*ssed off at the school!!!


They might not GAF about their children's education, but I bet they care about their cash. I don't think its such a bad idea.

#12 Caramel Latte

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:09 AM

It takes a lot to get there, before fine is given (if anything like NSW).

*if child misses 80% of school, without sufficient reason (ie medical certificate etc), then school is obliged to inform the Ed dept.
*Ed dept then refer to a homeschool liaison officer (this ISN'T anything to do with "homeschool", just (in their words "a fancy title)). HLO is there to assist parents and students, get attendance up.
* HLO will then set out a plan to ensure attendance is on track. If child and Parent don't stick to plan and attendance isn't up, then it's referred further and this is where they can enforce the fine.

I'm on fence regarding the fine. It may help push the parents but if child has issues, fining the parent won't help.

#13 EssentialBludger

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:11 AM

QUOTE (minimae @ 11/02/2013, 09:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
They might not GAF about their children's education, but I bet they care about their cash. I don't think its such a bad idea.


Exactly. I imagine in cases where child protection is already involved, they would have already tried to help get the kids off to school. I see it as a last resort type thing and the families would be warned they would be fined if they failed to send their kids to school. Maybe the threat of losing money would be enough?

Like I said, I really don't think the majority of parents who give their kid the odd day off with a lame reason have anything to worry about. They just wouldn't be able to police it. It's not aimed at you.

#14 ComradeBob

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:12 AM

Lol, yes Sassy Girl. Speeding tickets are obviously Just So Yesterday in the revenue stakes laugh.gif

And how much is this going to cost to implement? Will we be taking up court time and resources  just to get $70 back off people? What if they refuse to pay?

I just can't help thinking that we need to engage with people who are having issues sending their kids to school rather than penalising them. Possibly some of those parents have less than positive memories of their own school days. Maybe the kids are being bullied and the schools response has been less than ideal. Surely there is a better, more productive alternative shrug.gif

#15 spottyladybug

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:14 AM

If there is some kind of consqence for kids missing school, then those kids most at risk are more likely to have their parents pay more attention and perhaps even work with the school to address the issue.
Without a 'reason' to make the kid go to school the kids just stay home because the parents don not see an issue with non attendence. I think that there probably needs to be an out for not paying the fine if the parents work with the school to rectify  the problem.
Students missing school is frustrating for us teachers, other students and administration.

#16 blackbird

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:15 AM

QUOTE (Desiree Farfalla @ 11/02/2013, 10:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It takes a lot to get there, before fine is given (if anything like NSW).

*if child misses 80% of school, without sufficient reason (ie medical certificate etc), then school is obliged to inform the Ed dept.
*Ed dept then refer to a homeschool liaison officer (this ISN'T anything to do with "homeschool", just (in their words "a fancy title)). HLO is there to assist parents and students, get attendance up.
* HLO will then set out a plan to ensure attendance is on track. If child and Parent don't stick to plan and attendance isn't up, then it's referred further and this is where they can enforce the fine.

I'm on fence regarding the fine. It may help push the parents but if child has issues, fining the parent won't help.



I think in a case where the child has issues then that is a ligit reason for absence showing the child need help in some way? if used correctly the parent shouldn't be fined. I think its more about parents who care more about themselves than their child, money talks I'm afraid.

#17 Pull Up A Beanbag

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:20 AM

Given that in one instance last year, there was a child in Grade 1 turning up to school less than one day per fortnight, I would support any measures that would get him to school and give him even half a chance at a decent education.

Obviously, carrot first, but if you have to use a stick, then use it.

#18 noi'mnot

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:20 AM

QUOTE (WingBob @ 11/02/2013, 10:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I just can't help thinking that we need to engage with people who are having issues sending their kids to school rather than penalising them. Possibly some of those parents have less than positive memories of their own school days. Maybe the kids are being bullied and the schools response has been less than ideal. Surely there is a better, more productive alternative shrug.gif



Exactly. It's not about parents GAF about the $70 (if that's an amount of money that they have). It's going to be much more productive to engage with parents and develop positive relationships with their child's school. If a child is living in a situation where their parents truly don't GAF about their education, then the school might be the most stable and nurturing environment that they're exposed to - how about we nurture the whole family's exposure to this, rather than getting the parents p*ssed off with the school over $70???

I don't think that this fine has anything at all to do with regular parents who give their kids the odd lazy day at home - it's a short-sighted tactic which is all about penalising/punishing already disadvantaged and struggling families. Baillieu has already completely cut funding to one particular program (School Focussed Youth Services) designed to address these issues both at individual and whole of school levels, and he's just kicking these kids in the nads even harder with this "initiative".

#19 ElevenYears

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:22 AM

QUOTE
It takes a lot to get there, before fine is given (if anything like NSW).

*if child misses 80% of school, without sufficient reason (ie medical certificate etc), then school is obliged to inform the Ed dept.
*Ed dept then refer to a homeschool liaison officer (this ISN'T anything to do with "homeschool", just (in their words "a fancy title)). HLO is there to assist parents and students, get attendance up.
* HLO will then set out a plan to ensure attendance is on track. If child and Parent don't stick to plan and attendance isn't up, then it's referred further and this is where they can enforce the fine.

I'm on fence regarding the fine. It may help push the parents but if child has issues, fining the parent won't help.


This doesn't work in every setting.  As I said above, there are schools in NSW where nonattendence is as high as 40%.  The bigger successes are rewards - things like breakfast programs and co-programs with the police where a kid gets a free bicycle once they have a reasonable stretch of regular attendence behind them.  These are the programs that get the attendence as high as 60% in these communities.

The parents don't give a damn about a $70 fine, because they don't have $70.  The fine may as well be a million dollars, or a captive leprichaun for all the sense it makes.

#20 **Xena**

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:52 AM

Two Words- Bandaid Solution.

Freaking ridiculous and hardly likely to help the child or the family.

#21 Lagom

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:54 AM

Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks it's a terrible idea.

I fear the families who can least afford it will be the ones targeted with this fine.  IMO the Gov. should spend the money that this scheme will cost them in administration/court time for those who can't/refuse to pay and spend it on trying to help those kids/give them incentives to attend.  
There is currently scope for fining parents and it hasn't been used.   Why not just use the current legislation if they are that keen on the idea?

Will be 'interesting' to see if this goes ahead.

#22 Caramel Latte

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:58 AM

QUOTE (Eight.years @ 11/02/2013, 10:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This doesn't work in every setting.  As I said above, there are schools in NSW where nonattendence is as high as 40%.  The bigger successes are rewards - things like breakfast programs and co-programs with the police where a kid gets a free bicycle once they have a reasonable stretch of regular attendence behind them.  These are the programs that get the attendence as high as 60% in these communities.

The parents don't give a damn about a $70 fine, because they don't have $70.  The fine may as well be a million dollars, or a captive leprichaun for all the sense it makes.


I agree but my post was basically the process it takes (in the area I am in and regarding the schools in the area, I can't talk for all of NSW). It's not that your child has 40% attendance and then you're fined...they have a process in between.

Here the HLOs offer rewards but more along the lines of Macca's breaky vouchers. They (HLO) will also drop off / pick up if the parent has any issues getting them to school (this includes if child flat out refuses to go). They first step is to work with families and if that fails its Court/DOCs.

I've seen a child go from 20% attendance to 100% because a HLO got the school to deal with bullying, another to 95%, by just having them tested. It works more when the families are worked with but tho there are a few where this hasn't worked with, I'm not personally aware of them.

Part I'm on fence with, is fining parents (if gets to that points), really going to help? I don't really think so but if everything else has been tried (rewards, assistance etc), what else can be done?

#23 ElevenYears

Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:07 AM

QUOTE
They first step is to work with families and if that fails its Court/DOCs.


Yes I've seen this process in play.  It is par for the course in some communities, as much as possible given staffing limitations.   However the limitations are high, as staff turnover is high and the opportunities to build long term trust relationships simply aren't there.  

And then on top of that there's the sheer scale of the nonattendance.  When nonattendance on a schoolwide level is 40% even with those measures in place, you cannot take that number of children away, or take that number of parents to court without throwing a virtual grenade into the already extremely tenuous state-community relationship.



#24 Illiterati

Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:11 AM

That is going to apply to private school  and kids from well heeled families in public schools too right?  So am thinking taking your kids skiing or to Europe or Butan or wherever for a month in term time will still just be just fine?



#25 **BOOM**

Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:19 AM

This is going to only p*ss these sorts of people (parents) off....

It won't stop them from keeping their kids at home.

My DD has a little girl in her class who mum would fall under this new fining system.  Poor girl, I really feel for her and it's not surprising she is really behind with her work & it was recommended that she repeat prep.  Her mum kicked up a big stink so they  have pushed this girl through to Grade 1.  i have no idea how she will cope given the level she is currently at work & reading wise.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Childcare Survey

Win a $100 Coles/Myers gift voucher by completing the 5 minute childcare survey.

Kelly Clarkson shares first photos of son

Kelly Clarkson has shown off the first photos of her son, Remington Alexander Blackstock.

5 childbirth myths that need to be busted

Birth is an unpredictable, mysterious process that intrigues us all, and there is a lot of misinformation out there.

Mum of three fatally shot by toddler while driving

A US mother has been shot by her toddler while driving on a highway in Wisconsin.

All you need is one minute to work out

The seven-minute-work out is old news. Research shows the effectiveness of going hell-for-leather for just one minute.

Pregnant women needed to join diabetes study

Pregnant woman in country Australia will help Adelaide researchers figure out why cases of type 1 diabetes have doubled over the past two decades.

Just announced: the Mountain Buggy Unirider

It's the perfect solution to combat those toddler meltdowns when they no longer want to be in a pram but can't walk long distances.

Authorities euthanise dog that fatally bit a newborn baby

A pit bull mix that fatally bit a 3-day-old infant last week has been euthanised, authorities said.

The push for Medicare to fund lactation consultants

While meeting with a lactation consultant can make an enormous difference to a new mother, it's not a service that is available through the public health system.

Why it's perfectly natural to dislike other people's children

Members of a popular forum are fiercely debating whether it is acceptable to dislike a friend's child.

Woman gives birth on plane, names baby after airline

A pregnant woman who unexpectedly gave birth on a flight has named her new baby after the airline, Jetstar.

Heartwarming photos show the joy of adoption after foster care

Children living in foster care can feel like their future is less than clear. But that uncertainty disappears the day they are adopted by their "forever family" 

'Oh my god, it's a baby!' Mum shocked to give birth

When the cramps started to kick in, Klara Dollan just assumed a painful period was starting.

Mum's Facebook plea: 'Help me find my daughter's father'

Kerryn has a unusual present planned for daughter Imi's 13th birthday celebrations - she hopes to be able to be able to give the soon-to-be the teenager her first ever photo of her dad.

Is it possible for your house to be too clean?

Our houses are cleaner than ever before. But how clean is too clean? Could a sterile home be putting your family's health at risk?

Millions of Monkeys: puzzles that grow with your toddler

Here's a puzzle that grows with them; the Puzzle Grow Pack by Millions of Monkeys.

Baby names from Britpop

If you grew up in the 90s you might want to look to the genre of Britpop music for baby name inspiration.

What to eat and drink when you have gastro

When you catch a bug that causes acute infectious gastroenteritis (gastro), your stomach and intestinal tract become inflamed, causing diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping and pain. The last thing you probably feel like doing is eating.

'To this day, I owe her my life'

Would I have survived if I hadn't crossed that street?

Why baby Sonny needs you to vaccinate your children

Caitlin is a firm believer in the importance of immunisation to protect children from harmful and deadly diseases.

Five-year-old's photo captures beauty of motherhood

There is no make-up or special outfits and hairdos, but the five-year-old boy who took this picture captured the essence of motherhood as well as any professional photographer.

Babies know whether you are naughty or nice

Studies have shown that infants in the first months of life try to avoid dealing with social wrongdoers - for example, sharing less with them and helping them less - and they expect others to, too.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Childcare Survey

Win a $100 Coles/Myers gift voucher by completing the 5 minute childcare survey.

The babies who are one in 70 million

Bethani Webb was excited to find out she was pregnant, but the first time mum did not realise she was carrying four babies not one.

Cafe offers breastfeeding mums a free cup of tea

A Sydney cafe is offering breastfeeding mums free cups of tea in a bid to show support for the right of women to nurse their babies wherever they choose.

To snip or not to snip? When the decision is not clear cut

Jamie Oliver, who considered a vasectomy, is to be a father again. A fellow dad reflects on his own decision 11 years ago

Doctors stunned by rare twins born almost six weeks apart

To everyone's surprise, Kristen Miller "kept doing better each day", keeping her second baby safe.

Baby book ideas for modern parents

Before my son was born I was given a lovely baby book full of blank pages waiting to be filled with weights and heights and first words.

The adorable smile of a baby seeing his mum clearly for the first time

There is no doubt seeing their child smile for the first time is an unforgettable moment for parents everywhere.

Mum tells how toddler 'nearly hung himself' in cot mishap

When Alison Johnson put her 18-month-old Caleb down for a nap, she had no reason to believe her son was in any danger.

Babies are still switched at birth? Yes, it can happen

All my panic and tears aside, my biggest question looking back is about the kind of security measures used in the maternity ward.

Doctors slammed for taking selfie with newborn

Everyone who visits a mum in hospital in the days following childbirth wants to get a photo with the new baby.

ergoPouch Twosie Sleepsuit for winter breastfeeding

Finally, there's a way to keep warm while breastfeeding through winter.

Health check: How long does sex 'normally' last?

What to do with this information? My advice would be to try not to think about it during the throes of passion.

When breastfeeding sucks: fixing common problems

From niplash to tight boobs, biting to milk supply issues, Pinky McKay looks at common breastfeeding issues and how to solve them.

10 things I've learnt in my first six months with twins

Six months on we're all still alive, and the more we get to know each other the easier the days become.

Mum's loving kiss leaves baby fighting for life

Kirsty Carrington thought nothing of giving her newborn son a kiss, little did she know it would leave the baby fighting for life.

When doing chores is your new 'me time'

After children, 'me time' looks a little different.

Get going: 14 travel strollers for families on the move

A stroller can make or break travelling with a baby or toddler. Here are 15 great single travel stroller options.

10 ways toddlers are terrific

It always pays to remind yourself of how terrific toddlers can be - they're little like this for such a short time

 

ENTER NOW

Do your kids love bananas?

This is the comp for you! We have $800 worth of Myer gift cards and boxes of Australian Bananas to be won. Entry is simple: just post a pic of your little one enjoying a banana in the comments of the FB post to enter.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.