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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70702
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi I am being prosecuted by my local educational authority

Customer Question

Hi I am being prosecuted by my local educational authority as my 14 year old daughter refuses to go to school. She has missed quite a lot of school this year. We have had to deal with a lot of behavioural issues which I believe to be beyond normal teenage behaviour. She refuses to engage with any support services so they say they are unable to help me. They are blaming our parenting skills despite me telling them that her behaviour needs specialist support and is beyond our capabilities. The school refuse to accept that my daughter has difficulty coping emotionally in main stream school. Can you offer any advise for when i go to court.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I wish to know how I can challenge my prosecution in court. Would there be any way I could challenge this decision to prosecute on the basis of her behaviour

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry but that isn't a defence.
The Education Act is very unfair. It is an offence of strict liability. If you are her parent and she is not attending school then you are guilty I'm afraid. There is no defence in saying that you had reasonable excuse.
You will find the offence here
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/56/section/444
and notice the defence at ss3-6. There is a reverse burden of proof upon you to establish one of those circumstances. If it just that she is refusing to go then that does not assist I'm afraid.
It is mitigation to say that she is presenting with challenging behaviour and the Courts do accept that generally but it is not a defence.
I am sorry but I have to give you truthful information.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am worried that I could end up with a criminal record which could affect my job. I am a nurse within the NHS. Could this likely happen?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, I am sorry but it will.
S444 is a criminal conviction.
It is an offence of strict liability which doesn't always affect an employer's view of his employee but I am afraid it will show on standard DBS.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Last question. What will the conviction show up as?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Failure to secure your child's attendance at school. It is going to show in your applications but it might not stop anybody offering you anything. It not dishonesty or a risk to the vulnerable