By Wendy Andersen
PARENTS in Burgos have been fined 1440 euros for not ensuring their daughter was attending school.
The judge levied the stiff fine – the first of its kind in history – after the girl failed to attend around 110 days-a-year for three years in a row.
The parents insisted that due to their itinerant work – they are farm workers – they had been schooling their child wherever they were working.
But the judge ruled that this did not justify the absences, as they failed to enroll her at a local school during work periods.
Due to their financial circumstances they have been allowed to pay the fine in instalments.
It turns out they could have been lucky, for article 226.1 of the Penal Code actually allows for prison sentences of three to six months for parents not ensuring regular attendance.
In the UK, parents can be fined up to £2,500 for a similar offence.
According to a recent survey, three quarters of the UK population believes that parents should be fined for non-attendance at school.
A whopping 38 per cent also believe they should face prison.
In the UK, experts have found no evidence however, that the use of penalties has actually made any improvement in the figures for non-attendance.
Other options such as parenting classes have proved more much effective – but also more expensive.
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