Mooroopna school principals respond to new $70 fine for parents of truants that can be issued since reforms came into effect on March 1.ALEXANDRA BOLKAS March 6, 2014 4:04am
Goulburn Valley school principals say fining parents whose children miss school without a good reason sends the right message about learning, but might be difficult to enforce.
The $70 fines are part of a Victorian Government crackdown on school truancy announced by Victorian Education Minister Martin Dixon.
Previously, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development had to take parents to court to fine them.
But in September last year the Victorian Parliament passed amendments to the Education and Training Reform Act that meant parents could receive an infringement notice.
Yesterday, two Mooroopna school principals said they welcomed the reforms that came into effect on March 1.
The fine will be issued as a last resort and will apply to parents whose children are absent for at least five days a year and who fail to co-operate with the school to improve attendance.
Mooroopna Park Primary School principal Hayden Beaton said he agreed with the idea behind the reform.
‘‘The idea to get kids to school and put pressure on parents to get kids to school every day is a good thing,’’ Mr Beaton said.
‘‘Schools spend a lot of time chasing up absent students over the phone or sending letters, so this measure could end students having days off for their birthdays.’’
But he said the fine could prove difficult to enforce and would only be issued when all other options were exhausted.
‘‘It will be an interesting process,’’ he said.
‘‘The negative is it could also impact families in financial difficulty.’’
Mooroopna Secondary College principal Gary Fletcher said the school had adopted many of the new attendance guidelines before its introduction this week.
‘‘There is no safe day for missing school as each day a student misses puts them behind,’’ he said.
He said the fine would put added pressure on parents to ensure their children attended school.
But Smith Family general manager Anton Leschen said penalising vulnerable families with a fine was not the best way to achieve greater attendance rates.
‘‘It’s highly likely that families where children regularly truant face a range of serious issues,’’ Mr Leschen said.
‘‘We will get a better result in terms of reducing truancy and in the process make a range of positive long-term changes if we put supports in place to help families across their areas of need.
‘‘A financial penalty is likely to increase a family’s hardship.’’
Parent communication such as letters to parents, school newsletters and brochures explaining when absences are appropriate will rolled out before a fine is issued.
Shepparton Agricultural Society is reviving the traditions and excitement of the country show.
With her effective left hand in particular, Chelsea Hanley retained the Victorian Under 17 junior welterweight title last Sunday with a convincing points decision victory.
It has been a successful year for Bega Cheese, which reflects on Tatura Milk Industries, with chair Barry Irvin announcing recently that Bega Cheese’s normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation was $55.7 million and normalised profit after tax of $22 million.
AN ECHUCA drug addict and thief has been given her third chance at a community order despite breaching the last two.
TIMMERING Holstein breeders Scott and Nirrelle Somerville are thrilled with the announcement of their Holstein cow Somerelle Leader Lassco as the 2015 Australian Cow of the Year.
Great Race helps a great cause
Hundreds flock to Avenel to learn a thing or three.
Tocumwal Lions Club has plans to purchase the Bowling Club site for an aged care facility, which will only happen if the merger between the Tocumwal bowls and golf clubs proceeds.
A NASTY run-in with a kangaroo on the Northern Hwy between Melbourne and Echuca has convinced one regular traveller on the road the question of a cull needs to be addressed.
Three Cobram teens have been arrested by police after they allegedly stole tractors from Cobram and Tocumwal and caused about $30 000 in damage.
Whether you fancy a flutter on the Caulfield Cup or the local cup, the Deniliquin racecourse is the place to be on Saturday, October 17.
The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has acknowledged the completion of negotiations under the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), noting modest but important gains made for the Australian dairy industry in improving access to global markets.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.