AMOTHER and father have been sentenced for not making their truant children go to school.

The mother and step-father, from Shoebury, admitted two counts of being the parents of minors who failed to attend school.

It was found the teenagers, aged 14 and 16, didn’t attend on numerous occasions between September 3 and January 31 – which is more than the first term of a school year.

The parents, who can’t be named for legal reasons, were both given conditional discharges for 12 months at Southend Magistrates’ Court and ordered to pay £100 court costs and £15 victim surcharge.

The father was sentenced yesterday, while his wife was sentenced on May 14.

It comes as Southend Council clamps down on families of truant children to reduce the numbers of persistent absences in school.

Jane Theadom, Southend Council’s head of learning, said: “The council’s child and early intervention team works hard to support children and families to engage in education and school life.

“School attendance figures across the town have gone up.

“The number of schools with persistent absence in the last two years has gone down, and the number of parents being fined has reduced dramatically.

“This is evidence of the team’s successful early intervention work with children and families and how seriously the council takes the matter of truancy.

“This particular case clearly demonstrates the council’s zero-tolerance policy on truancy and how a case will be escalated to court if the continued support and assistance provided by the team is ignored.

“I cannot highlight enough how vital it is for our children and young people to be given every opportunity and encouragement to make the most of each day at school.”

The law states if a child of compulsory school age fails to attend the school regularly, their parent is guilty of an offence.

If the parent knows their child is failing to attend regularly at the school and fails without reasonable justification to cause them to do so, he is guilty of an offence.

If a person is guilty to any of the above offences they could be convicted and receive punishments ranging from a fine to a three-month prison sentence.