Truancy crackdown in Central Milton Keynes

    More than 20 parents were stopped by anti-truancy patrols in a recent city centre crackdown on pupils who were absent from school.

    Excuses ranged from the child being unwell to ‘Christmas shopping’.

    The operation was carried out by Milton Keynes Council, Thames Valley Police and Compass, the free drugs and alcohol advice service.

    The patrols targeted the Central MK area and the Xscape and there were also a number of home visits.

    Intu provided a room as a place of safety for the day where unaccompanied children were looked after until they could be taken back to school.

    In total 22 parents were stopped with children/young people of school age. They will be written to and the relevant school informed – under the terms of our Code for Conduct they could also be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice. Some of the children were from outside of Milton Keynes and MKC will be contacting their relevant authorities.

    Cllr Zoe Nolan, Cabinet Member responsible for Children and Families, said: “It's disappointing, and in some cases extremely worrying, that so many children were found to be out of school and it seems many had no good reason for their absence. They are not only missing out on valuable education but they are also very vulnerable. We know that young people who attend school regularly are less likely to become involved in, or be a victim of crime and anti-social behaviour.

    “Schools can help parents who are struggling in getting children to attend school every day and other support is available but I hope these patrols will send out a clear message that every child must attend school."

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