Schools

– Scottish Parliament written question – answered on 20th March 2007.

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Photo of Stewart Stevenson Stewart Stevenson Scottish National Party

Question S2W-32271

To ask the Scottish Executive how many parenting orders arising from truancy and exclusion from school have been issued this year, broken down by local authority area; how many have been breached; how many prosecutions have been mounted against those breaching such orders, and how many such prosecutions have been successful.

Photo of Robert Brown Robert Brown Liberal Democrat

No parenting orders have been granted since they came into force on 4 April 2005 by way of a three year national pilot. Parenting orders were always envisaged as a last resort where voluntary co-operation had failed.

Parenting orders are concerned with the behaviour of the parent, not the child. An order will only be appropriate where the behaviour of the parent in relation to their child is seriously deficient and where a parent has been offered help and support on a voluntary basis and has refused to engage with that support.

Statistics on truancy are available from the annual Scottish Executive National Statistics Publication on Attendance and Absence in Scottish Schools 2005-06: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/159603/0043419.pdf.

Statistics on exclusion are available from the annual Scottish Executive National Statistics Publication Exclusions from Schools, 2005-06: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/164454/0044803.pdf.

Recent measures to improve attendance management include consultation on draft guidance Engaged and Involved: attendance in Scottish schools (2006) which highlights the need to monitor and respond to patterns of absence including:

the use of home link workers to liaise with families; and,

Executive supported funding and pilots of automated call systems which deter truancy and improve parental involvement in attendance.

Homelink workers can also be used to liaise with families regarding matters that have led to exclusion and the reintegration of pupils who have been excluded.

The Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006, which aims to foster a partnership approach between schools and parents, will be fully operational by August 2007.

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