A BARNSLEY mother who allowed her child to miss 13 consecutive weeks of school has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

The mother, who cannot be named to protect the identity of her child, pleaded guilty to a charge under Section 444(1A) of the Education Act 1996 - an aggravated charge relating to failure to secure regular attendance at school of a registered pupil - at Barnsley Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

This was parent’s fourth prosecution for failing to ensure attendance of her child, and her second aggravated offence.

She was issued an eight-week custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months as part of a suspended sentence order, to include up to 20 days rehab requirement.

Coun Trevor Cave, cabinet spokesperson for children’s services, said:

“We will continue to do all we can to reduce unnecessary absence from school, as it often affects a pupil’s attainment levels, disrupts school routines and the learning of others.

“Missing school seriously affects children’s longer term life opportunities, and the severity of this issue is reflected in the sentence handed out by Barnsley Magistrates’ Court.

“We recognise that for some parents they will require additional support with problems affecting regular school attendance.”