AlamyA record number of parents are receiving criminal records for their child's truancy according to new figures.
A whopping 10,000 mums and dads were given a criminal record in 2011 - a five-fold increase over the past 10 years.
According to the figures from the Ministry of Justice, released under the Freedom of Information Laws, 12,777 parents in England and Wales were taken to court over their child's truancy in 2011.
Of these 12,777 parents, a massive 9,836 were found guilty and sentenced. The majority were fined, some given community service, and 11 were jailed.
Between 2001 and 2011, a total of 61,367 parents have been convicted and 153 jailed for their truanting children.
It is estimated that around 56,000 pupils in state primary and secondary schools miss lessons every day without permission.
From the 2012 academic year, parents can be issued with a £60 spot fine if their child misses school - up £10 from the current £50. This rises to £120 if left unpaid.
Commenting on the figures, a Department for Education spokesperson told the Telegraph: "Poor attendance can have a hugely damaging effect on a child's education. That's why we have given schools more powers. Children who attend school regularly are four times more likely to achieve five or more good GCSEs than those who are persistently absent.
"We are tackling absence before it causes long-term disadvantage. Powers to fine parents of children who do not attend school are just one of the ways we are emphasising the importance of attendance."
Do these figures surprise you?
Have you ever been hit with a fine for taking your child out of school for a holiday?
Parents to have child benefit deducted if children miss schoolDo your children truant? Or is it simply a family holiday?
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