Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

SCHOOL? I COULDN'T BE BOTHERED; Call to Parents as Authority Aims to Cut Number of Pupils Playing Truant Shocked by Fine for Mum and Dad EVERY SCHOOL DAY MATTERS Supported by the Evening Gazette

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

SCHOOL? I COULDN'T BE BOTHERED; Call to Parents as Authority Aims to Cut Number of Pupils Playing Truant Shocked by Fine for Mum and Dad EVERY SCHOOL DAY MATTERS Supported by the Evening Gazette

Article excerpt

Byline: By JOANNA DESIRA

MIDDLESBROUGH Council is appealing to parents to help cut the number of persistent truants. It has launched the Every Schoolday Matters campaign, with the support of the Evening Gazette and Middlesbrough Football Club, to highlight the importance of going to school.

Education reporter JOANNA DESIRA met some former truants and discovered more about the problem of persistent truancy.

WHEN sisters Jordan and Naomi Briggs chose to spend their days lounging about in front of the TV instead of in the classroom, little did they know their actions would land their mum in hot water.

Older sister Jordan was spurred on by sister Naomi's failure to leave for Unity City Academy in the morning.

Soon the girls built up a poor attendance record which alarmed their school and the local authority.

Once mum Alison, 33, was called in to the school for urgent meetings the girls were hit hard with the realisation their actions could land her in court.

It was the shock the girls needed to mend their ways.

So far this year Jordan has maintained a 100% attendance record, up from 67%, and Naomi has a 98.5% record, also an improvement from 67% last year.

And they both agree a day busy at school is more enjoyable than idling at home.

Naomi, aged 13, said: "I didn't want to come to school, I couldn't be bothered, getting up and walking round in the morning.

"I wouldn't go so Jordan wouldn't go."

Education welfare officers and school attendance officers became involved in the girls' case and Alison was called in for a meeting.

"Things started getting serious. She felt annoyed because we were staying off school and she was getting into trouble for it."

Jordan, 15, said: "I played truant quite a bit, normally in the mornings, and would go to school in the afternoon. …

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