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Thousands more parents pay truancy fines

Michael Gove's Department for Education has increased fines for truancy to £60. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The number of truancy fines handed to parents has increased by 27% in the last year, official figures have shown.

According to data from the Department for Education, 52,370 penalty notices were issued in 2012 to 2013, up from 41,224 the previous year.

However, separate figures show that overall absences were down from 6% of school sessions in 2009/10 to 5.2% in 2012/13.

Persistent absences - where students miss 15% of school or more - were down by around a third to 300,895 in the same period, the figures showed.

In September 2012, the government increased fines for truancy from £50 to £60, and from £100 to £120 if not paid within 28 days.

Reaction to Government truancy proposals

Facebook users have been commenting on ITV News' webpage about Government proposals to introduce tougher penalties for parents whose children play truant. See below for some of the latest comments. To join the debate click here.

Theresa Marshall said: "It should be the last resort, first the parents, teachers and child should sit round a table and talk about it. There may be an underlying reason, like bullying or a disrupted home life, that needs to be sorted out first!"

Sarah Wiley Wiles said: "Even the most skilled parents have experienced trouble with their children attending school at times. Is this not just another government trial at breaking the financially deprived even more? It is time the government invested more money into education..."

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