Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 16.24.38PARENTS of two Middlesbrough school pupils have been hit with court fines over unauthorised term-time holidays.

And education chiefs this week renewed their warning to parents of the potential consequences of putting their children’s education at risk.

In the first case, Oumorou Rassidou, 49, and Jayne Rassidou, 40, of Albert Terrace, Middlesbrough were found guilty of failing to secure the regular attendance of their child at Acklam Grange School following a trial at Teesside Magistrates’ Court.

During the case the court heard evidence from Acklam Grange Headteacher Andrea Crawshaw and Middlesbrough Council’s Attendance Manager Lynn Mitchell.

Both defendants were found guilty and were each fined £55 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £40. The pair were also jointly ordered to pay prosecution costs of £530.

In a separate case dealt with by Teesside Magistrates on Tuesday (April 28), Acklam Grange parent Mandy Birangwa, 56, of Wibsey Avenue, Middlesbrough was fined £200 with £80 costs and ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge for a similar offence.

The cases highlight the risks of taking children out of school during term time and education chiefs have reiterated their determination to protect the interests of young people.

So far this academic year 193 penalty notices have been issued to parents over unauthorised leave of absence, with a further 16 due to be issued this week.

Penalty notices are £60 if paid within 21 days, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days.

Richenda Broad, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Director for Wellbeing, Care and Learning, said: “While the vast majority of parents are responsible, there remains a significant minority who take their children out of school for holidays during term time.

“This authority takes the issue of attendance extremely seriously because the importance of education in the life of every child cannot be overstated.

“There is strong evidence that missing time at school has a significant impact on a child’s chances of achieving good qualifications and future employability.

“In exceptional circumstances requests for absence during term time will be considered, and enforcement measures are only used as a last resort.

“However, parents who break the law in this way – and harm their children’s prospects in the process – can expect to be dealt with severely.”