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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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Barrow school boy attended three from 118 school days

A BARROW school boy whose mother was prosecuted for failing to make him attend school spent just three days out of 118 in lessons, the Evening Mail can reveal.

Academy
Furness Academy in Barrow

Nicola Duke, of Mill Brow, Barrow, was one of three parents who were prosecuted last week for failing to ensure their child attends Furness Academy. She was fined £500 and ordered to pay a £50 victim surcharge and £70 costs.

Since the story was first published on Thursday, the Evening Mail has obtained figures which show Duke’s son, Marc, spent just three days out of a possible 118 in school between January and July 2013.

The figures also show that fellow Furness Academy pupil Caine Ryan’s attendance record was 26 per cent – meaning he spent 30 days at school out of a maximum 118. His father, Christian Ryan, 37, of Lesh Lane, Barrow, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge and £70 costs.

Samuel Bromley’s mother Karen, of Brighton Street, Barrow, pleaded guilty to failing to make her son attend Furness Academy and was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge. The figures show Samuel had an attendance record of 22 per cent – meaning he was at school for 26 days out of a possible 118.

Last month, Furness Academy revealed that Des Herlihy, who was appointed interim headteacher in June 2013, will remain as executive principal until July 2015.

Responding to the truancy prosecutions, Mr Herlihy said: “We do not comment on individual cases. Good attendance at school is essential to ensure progress and enable children to reach their full potential. At Furness Academy we are committed to good standards of attendance and we will use the legal processes open to us to achieve this.”

A spokesman for Cumbria County Council added: “Schools and the local authority work closely with families when there are attendance issues and we do all we can to improve attendance and stress the negative impact truancy can have on a child’s education.

“While we always look to resolve attendance issues through having discussions and offering support, these three cases send out a message that we will prosecute as a last resort when other methods for improving attendance fail.”

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