Parents could be fined if they don’t send their children back to school in September, education secretary warns

Parents have been warned they could be fined if they do not send their children back to school in September.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said the planned return of all pupils in England will be “compulsory”.

He added that parents could be fined unless there is a “good reason” for their child’s absence.

“It is going to be compulsory for children to return back to school unless there’s a very good reason, or a local spike where there have had to be local lockdowns,” Mr Williamson told LBC.

“We do have to get back into compulsory education as part of that, obviously fines sit alongside that.

“Unless there is a good reason for the absence then we will be looking at the fact that we would be imposing fines on families if they are not sending their children back.”

The education secretary said a detailed plan on how the government will bring all children back to the classroom for the autumn term will be set out by the end of this week.

Schools closed in March as the government took action to try and halt the spread of COVID-19, with only vulnerable children and those whose parents are key workers able to attend.

A phased reopening of primary schools began at the start of this month, with pupils in reception, year one and year six returning to the classroom.

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