PARENTS

Boy, 12, Refuses To Go To School - And His Mum Says He's 'Too Big' To Force Him

18/10/2012 11:24 | Updated 22 May 2015
Boy, 12, refuses to go to school - and his mum says he's 'too big' to force himSWNS

As all parents know, it can be a struggle getting children up and ready to go to school in the mornings. But Miranda Hammond's challenges with her son are in a different league altogether.

Most of us can encourage or cajole our kids into putting on their uniforms and dragging them to the schoolgates, but 12-year-old Ajay flatly refuses.

And his mum says she can do nothing about it – because he's too big!

It's a battle Miranda has fought for three years to the point where she is being threatened with court action for Ajay's unauthorised absence which could result in hefty fines.

But the mum-of-four from Plymouth says if that's what needs to happen to get her reluctant lad through the school gates, she'll take the punishment because she's at her wits' end.

Miranda, 37, says Ajay hates school because he doesn't like homework and finds it 'boring'. When he was younger, she used to pull him out of bed, dress him and push him through the school gates.

But as he is nearly a teen, Miranda says he is 'much bigger and stronger' and 'built like a mini rugby player', making it physically impossible for her to force him to learn.

Miranda told her local paper: "I'm happy to go to court if that means I will get some help.

"I've been trying my hardest, I used to pull him out of bed and get him dressed, push him in the car and through the school gates, but I can't do that anymore.

"I'm 5ft 3in and he's much bigger and stronger, he's built like a mini rugby player. He also knows the law and says that if I touch him that it's assault. I'm at my wits' end."

Miranda was given an official warning last week and if her son's truancy is not curbed she has been told she could face the courts.

Ajay is in Year 8 at Ivybridge Community College, but attends on average just one day a week. Miranda said she called a meeting on Friday to discuss the issue further.

The meeting was held in Miranda's car because Ajay refused to get out and go into the school building.

Now Ajay needs to attend school every day for four weeks under the 'fast track to attendance' scheme. Any unauthorised absence will result in a £60 penalty notice which Miranda will have to pay.

Miranda said: "However Ajay did not go in to school on Monday or Tuesday. Why are they prosecuting me when it should be him?

"If you've got a child that's stronger and bigger than you then what more can I do?"

A spokesman for Devon County Council said: "Parents have the ultimate responsibility to ensure their child attends school.

"Education welfare officers will work with schools and colleges to try and help with specific issues resulting in why students are not attending."

A spokeswoman for Ivybridge Community College said: "We monitor attendance on a daily basis to promote the good habit of punctuality and good attendance. We have a robust system to track and support any students who may be absent.

"This begins with parents contacting the college if their child is absent and is further supported by an automated service to our parents."

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