Hefty fines for parents of absent school children
PARENTS and carers across Queensland could be fined thousands of dollars if they don't send their children to school on a regular basis.
Education Minister Grace Grace said last year, police charged 21 parents from across the state for failing to meet the obligation, while this year's total almost nearing that number.
"There have been 16 parents charged, up to the end of August," she said.
"Parents should be aware the maximum penalty for a first offence is six penalty units, or $801.30, and for a subsequent offence, whether or not it relates to the same child, is 12 penalty units or $1566.60."
Ms Grace also said the last term of school is generally when unexplained absences from school rise.
"Education is the ultimate equaliser and the more time students spend in the classroom, the better their educational and social outcomes will be," Ms Grace said.
"It's very important for parents and carers to continue to send their children to school every day of the school year."
However, the drastic measure of prosecution is considered a last resort, with the Department pro-actively solving the situation before it gets to that point.
"Of course, before any referral to police, our schools work closely with families to attempt to improve a child's attendance," she said.
This week also marks the start of State Education Week, which wraps up with World Teachers' Day on Friday.