Penryn mother jailed over truant children

A mother from Cornwall has been jailed for 20 weeks for failing to ensure her three children attend school regularly.

The woman was given an eight week sentence by magistrates in Truro.

She will also serve a 12 week sentence which was previously suspended.

The court heard that her children - aged 15, 14 and six-years-old - missed school despite their mother being prosecuted on four previous occasions.

'Last resort'

Kevin Hill, prosecuting on behalf of the local authority, told the court that the children, "had missed school on numerous occasions".

He said although the parent, who can not be named for legal reasons, had been prosecuted for similar offences before, their attendance "had failed to improve".

The woman's first three prosecutions resulted in a community order, including a curfew.

The mother, from Penryn near Falmouth, was given the 12 week sentence, suspended for 12 months, last July.

The court heard that she failed to attend meetings with representatives of the Council's education welfare service and her children's schools.

John Heath, Cornwall Council's principal education welfare officer, said: "Prosecution is a last resort when everything else has failed.

"Where parents are finally taken to court for school attendance offences they do run the risk of being fined or sent to prison "

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