‘Parents really need to be taught a lesson’

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SOMETIMES when you run out of carrots, the stick needs to come out.

The mere threat of parents being taken to court for failing to ensure their children attend school will do the trick in many cases.

Others clearly need more support and intervention to convince them of the need to get their child to class.

In a small number of cases, nothing will work.

Many people will be surprised to learn that no-one has ever been prosecuted in the Capital for their child playing truant and it perhaps illustrates how successful other measures have been in driving down the absence rate.

It is also likely to be a symptom of the fact that the legal process has been ruled out because it would often take longer than the child’s time in education.

But with the promise of quicker prosecutions, the fact that the first cases are now set to be considered at a time when the problem appears to be getting better rather than worse, hopefully means this action is being reserved for the very worst offenders.

It’s a cliche, but nothing is more important than a child’s education, especially if that child is living in a relatively deprived area of the city.

We support the council’s move towards a hardline approach in the right circumstances and obviously only after every other avenue has been exhausted.

It is a sad fact that many of those targeted may well be no strangers to the justice system and the threat of a £2500 fine or up to three months in prison may well have to be carried out.

Making an example of even one family will leave others in no doubt that prosecution is no longer an empty threat.

Those parents, like their truanting children, really do need to be taught a lesson.

Making a splash

Forget the Olympics, at least for the moment. There is only one sporting event in town this week and that’s the long- awaited reopening of the Commonwealth Pool.

Today we reveal the lucky youngsters who have won the right, through an Evening News competition, to be among the first to take a dip in the revamped facility.

We hope that it is a truly memorable day for all those involved as they make their own little bit of sporting history.

And just maybe, with such world- class swimming facilities on our doorstep, the next David Wilkie will be about to make a splash.