A PEMBROKESHIRE dad has been jailed for failing to ensure his child was regularly attending school.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was produced under a warrant due to not having attended court the previous day. He was sentenced to two months imprisonment by Haverfordwest Magistrates in a case brought before them by Pembrokeshire County Council.

He was jailed under Section 444(1) (A) of the Education Act 1996 for failing to secure regular attendance at school of a registered pupil.

Magistrates heard that between January 8 and July 4 of this year, the child’s attendance at school was 1.46 per cent, meaning the child had missed 98 per cent of the education to which he/she was entitled.

Staff from the school and the county council’s pupil support team attempted to contact the parent on 29 separate occasions by home visits or by telephone to offer multi-agency support - support which the father failed to accept.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of three months in prison and/or a £2,500 fine.

Credit was given for the man’s early guilty plea, although the court heard from the Probation Service that the defendant had not complied with community sentences for previous, unrelated offences.

A sentence of two months imprisonment was imposed, together with costs of £329.81 and a victim surcharge of £115.

Pembrokeshire County Council cabinet member for education and lifelong learning Cllr David Lloyd said the authority does not seek to prosecute parents unless absolutely necessary.

“This is an extreme and very sad case but is nevertheless a reminder of the serious consequences for parents of failing to ensure that children attend school regularly,” said Cllr Lloyd.

“Bringing cases to court is a last resort, as we seek to engage with the parents and provide support as is necessary. But in cases where attendance is low and parents refuse to co-operate with us, we have no alternative but to take the matter to court.”