Jump to content

$70 fine if a child misses school


  • Please log in to reply
59 replies to this topic

#1 amabanana

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 RedBob

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 TenYears

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 RedBob

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 Beanbag Warrior

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 TenYears

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 amabanana

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 TenYears

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.






1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Special Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

Why I breastfed my son until he was three

The fact that I not only breastfed my son, but breastfed him for three and a half years, seems pretty incredible in retrospect.

Do babies and young children see ghosts?

Do babies and young children see ghosts? If you’ve pondered the question, you’re not alone.

15 years with Essential Baby: meet Therese

"Life has a funny way of giving you what you need when you need it the most."

Mum causes a stir by taking a stand against leggings

A mum has found herself the subject of debate after claiming tight bottoms cause lustful thoughts in men.

Don't set a parenting goal for 2015 - do this instead

The problem with goal setting as a parent is the measure. How do we really know if we’re succeeding?

5 pregnancy myths that just won't go away

When you're expecting, it often seems like everyone is keen to offer advice about what you should and shouldn't do in the interests of your health and wellbeing.

RPA hospital contacting mums after discovering vaccine storage fault

Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) is trying to contact women who had babies at the facility after discovering a fault in a refrigerator containing vaccines.

'Nutella' not a baby name, French court says

A French court has blocked parents from naming their baby girl after the hazelnut spread Nutella, arguing it would make her the target of mockery.

Why I'm never calling myself 'just a mum' again

I’ve grown three human beings. I feed them, dress them, teach them, care for them and love them 24 hours a day. Yet for eight years, when I meet new people and they’ve asked me what I do, I tell them: “I’m just a mum”.

Rosie Batty named 2015 Australian of the Year

One year ago, Rosie Batty could not have imagined she'd be where she is. Tonight the grieving mum who put domestic violence on the national agenda was named Australian of the Year.

Five reasons to hug more

Hugging – some of us thrive on it, even depend on it – and then there are those who don't care for it really. So, are they missing out?

Help - my three-year-old has started throwing tantrums

My daughter never went through the "terrible twos" but began throwing wild tantrums shortly after her third birthday.

That's commitment

First peek at Sonia Kruger's daughter Maggie

"She smells so good, I could eat her," Kruger tells co-host David Campbell.

Mum assists in own caesarean surgery

A mum who partly delivered her own twins during a caesarean has encouraged other women to take control of their birthing experience.

How to handle common childhood regressions

Regression can be a natural and common part of development prompted by a variety of factors, but that doesn't make it less frustrating.

Disgruntled dad's pram ad goes viral

When buying a second hand pram, there are lots of things to take into consideration. 

Man discovers he's a dad after finding 55-year-old letter

Discovering you are about to father a baby is startling enough - never mind finding out you have a 61-year-old son.

15 thoughts mums have during a tantrum

Ranging from mild to feral and triggered by events both minor and major, tantrums certainly keep life interesting.

Natural pain relief in the early stages of labour

While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Forgotten Baby Syndrome claims the life of toddler

One baby dies every eight days in the back of a car in the US, victims of 'forgotten baby syndrome'.

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel. You stole my heart, and changed me into the women I am today.

Chinese woman gives birth to quintuplets

After six years of trying for a baby, a couple’s dreams have come true many times over after the mum gave birth to quintuplets this week.

Chrissie Swan has reached her "sex quota"

Chrissie Swan says she and her partner have sex once a year due to her fear of falling pregnant.

Stars help save choking babies

It's an important lesson to learn, but one that busy new mums and dads might overlook until it's too late.

New Girl star Zooey Deschanel pregnant

Actress Zooey Deschanel is expecting her first child with her producer boyfriend Jacob Pechenik.

16 times 'dad reflexes' saved the day

Of course, in some cases they may be the ones who actually got their child into a precarious position in the first place, but we'll ignore that for now.

Couple's 'non-traditional' pregnancy announcement goes viral

Knowing you are not the father of your pregnant wife's baby would usually indicate a rocky relationship ahead for traditional parents.

The trials and tribulations of identical triplet newborns

Pip Donnelly is still playing spot the difference with her newborn identical triplets, Isabelle, Georgina and Frankie.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Earthquake baby thriving five years on

Jenny Alexis is lucky to be alive after spending four days buried in the rubble of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, but now she's a thriving five year old.

Please don't say I'm lucky because I was adopted

On the one hand I was having a regular life with friends and sports and sleepovers and school. But I was also always wondering: Did my mother love me? What was wrong with me?

An open letter to non-parents who offer advice on child-rearing

Kitty, when you’re the parent of my child you’re welcome to wade in with an opinion – but until then, I’d prefer you to have a supportive ear and a glass of wine ready.

Couple arrested over baby gun video

A US couple faces charges after investigators say they found mobile phone videos showing the woman's 12-month-old daughter putting a handgun in her mouth.

NSW Health dumps 10-year limit on frozen embryos

A 10-year time limit on storing frozen embryos that were created with donor sperm has been dropped by the NSW government.

How my happy-go-lucky husband became a monster

Sharan Nicholson-Rogers watched her husband change from a happy-go-lucky police officer into an unpredictable man prone to violent and emotional outbursts.

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes, too

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes in line with their pregnant partners, a new study shows.

'They were just doing their job': mum of toddler killed in police chase gone wrong

"They were just doing their job. I feel so sorry for them. It is all just too sad."

Miscarriages to be formally recognised by NSW government

Women who miscarry will be able to obtain an optional "recognition of loss" certificate as a formal recognition of their often heartbreaking loss.

Cafe cubby house 'too noisy' for neighbours

Teenage parties, domestic disputes, or raucous late night pubs are the things that usually come to mind when you think neighbourhood noise complaints.

Dad films baby playing with snake

Most parents would not consider a snake an appropriate playmate for their baby, but a US dad who filmed his daughter playing with a python has defended himself against criticism.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Back to School Offer

Findababysitter.com.au

We've got you covered for this school year. Use www.findababysitter.com.au to meet local nannies now.

 
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.