Fines considered for attendance boost
Experts are looking at the idea of fining parents of South Australian children who regularly miss school.
The state is looking at way to enhance its “toolkit” to increase attendance rates.
Education Minister Susan Close says she parents should be made to take their child's school attendance seriously.
While SA”s attendance rate was over 90 per cent last year, Dr Close wants further improvements.
But she did concede that prosecuting parents for their child's truancy had not been particularly successful.
“We have found it increasingly difficult to get prosecutions up successfully so what I want to do is have a look at whether the legislation needs to be changed,” she said.
“I'm also interested in exploring whether we can start fining parents. I'm interested in having all the tools in our toolkit.”
She said non-punitive measures would always come first.
“Now usually that [fines] won't work. It won't be helpful and it won't be necessary but ever so often there will be a family who are more likely to respond to a fine and people trying to work with them to help their kids.
“The first stage is always to work with a family, however I think it's important to have a full range of tools.
“It's important to be able to go further if families really aren't engaging properly. They're only hurting their own children by not sending them to school.”
Around sixty wellbeing practitioners with social work expertise will soon be deployed in schools to help families.