Parents who take their children on their jollies during term time will face hefty fines as part of a new government scheme cracking down on truancy.
Fixed penalty notices (FPNs) will be handed out to parents if their children are taken out of school for holidays, they are late five times in one term, they take five unauthorised absences or are out in public in the five days of an exclusion.
Parents would face a maximum of two fines for each child per school year – if that limit were reached, prosecution would then be considered.
Education Secretary Nadim Zahawi said he hopes the new scheme would ‘help tackle persistent absence’.
He said: “I know from the Children’s Commissioner’s work on school attendance that children themselves hugely value being in school with their teachers and their friends.
“My job is to make sure that every child can get those school experiences.
“The plans set out today to reform how absence fines operate, alongside our Schools Bill currently going through parliament, will improve consistency across the country and help tackle persistent absence.”
According to the plans, Zahawi will also oversee a Whitehall database containing all school registers in a bid to improve school attendance.
The scheme also suggest pupils younger than compulsory schooling age should still have their absence recorded.
Under the current law, the attendance of these particular pupils does not need to be recorded.
The Government added that pupils absent for fifteen days or more for health reasons should be reported to the local council to make sure they and their family get more support.
Children’s Commissioner Rachel de Souza has backed the new scheme, and called upon schools to ‘do whatever it takes’ to get attendance back up to 100% by this autumn term.
Manchester named one of the worst places in UK for ‘dangerous drinking’
Manchester has been named the fourth most dangerous city in the UK for binge drinking
Manchester has been named the fourth most dangerous city in the UK for binge drinking, according to a new study.
The Dangerous Drinking Report was conducted by private rehab clinic Delamere, and it has analysed eight different data points.
These include rates of alcoholism, alcohol deaths per 100,000 people, the number of bars, which were all analysed to reveal the most dangerous cities in the UK for drinking.
And according to this research, Manchester took fourth place on the ranking with a score of 17.1 out of a possible 80.
Manchester had the second-highest number of bottomless drinking locations (77), five drinking events available, 2,040 alcohol-related hospital admissions between 2019-2020 and 209 bars and clubs.
London was found to have the most dangerous drinking culture in the UK, with an overall score of 0 out of a possible 80.
As the most populated city in the country, London had 26,580 alcohol-related hospital admissions recorded between 2019-2020, 190 bottomless drinking locations and 1,068 bars and nightclubs that all contributed to its ‘toxic’ drinking culture.
Leeds came in second, with a score of 11 out of 80. Their bottomless drinks score was 0.8/10, 310 hospital admissions were documented between 2019-2020 and finally, there were 9,954 recorded alcohol dependency cases between 2018-2019.
The Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities for Drinking Culture:
- London – 0/80
- Leeds – 11/80
- Bristol – 16.6/80
- Manchester – 17.1/80
- Liverpool – 19.9/80
- Birmingham – 22.3/80
- Newcastle – 25.6/80
- Nottingham – 31.1/80
- Sheffield -31.2/80
- Brighton -32/80
Read the full report here.
Nadine Dorries compares herself to Wigan legend after embarrassing rugby mix up
Nadine Dorries made a huge faux pas at a rugby league event this week, when she mixed up two different codes in the sport.
The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport was at a Rugby League World Cup social impact event in St Helens, during which she confused league and union while giving a speech.
When discussing her favourite moment from rugby league, she mistakenly chose Jonny Wilkinson’s famous drop-goal – which led to England winning the 2003 rugby union World Cup – as her standout memory.
Dorries told the audience: “I’ve always quite liked the idea of rugby league. My long standing memory is that 2003 drop-goal.
“I’ll let you into a secret, we were drinking Bloody Marys at the time, it was 11 o’clock in the morning, but wow, what a moment that was.
“I know from my limited watching that it’s an incredibly physical and sometimes brutal sport and it often ends up in a scrum, which actually reminds me very much of politics.
“I think we have a lot in common and given a lot of the media like to call me the prime minister’s attack dog, I wonder sometimes if I should give rugby a go.”
While rugby league is played across the country, it is most popular in Northern England – especially Lancashire and Yorkshire where the game originated in the late 1800s.
She later addressed the mistake on Twitter, in a tweet in which she compared herself to a Wigan rugby league legend.
She wrote: “Like Jason Robinson I may have switched codes in my speech… Both league & union have a rich heritage in the UK.
“Obviously I’ve followed rugby league much less in my lifetime, but I’m looking forward to watching England (& all the home nations) in the RL World Cup this Autumn.”
Heinz pulls products from shelves in Tesco over price row
Tesco has said it is more focused on keeping the cost of the weekly shop as low as possible
Customers will be hard pressed to find certain Heinz products in Tesco following a row between the two companies over price hikes.
The food company has scaled back its supply to Tesco after the supermarket said it would not pass on its ‘unjustifiable price increases’ to its customers.
As a result of this, customers will find that a number of Heinz favourites such as baked beans, tinned soups and tomato ketchup will be absent from the shelves in Tesco supermarkets up and down the country.
According to The Grocer Magazine, products affected include Beanz 4x415g, Sticky Barbecue Sauce 500g, Salad Cream 605g, Baked Beans & Pork Sausages 200g, Beanz No Added Sugar 4x415g Snap Pots 4x200g, and Chicken Noodle Soup 400g.
Heinz is just one of the manufacturers to announce a price increase during the cost of living crisis.
However, many supermarkets like Tesco are firm in keeping prices as low as reasonably possible for their customers, resulting in disputes with manufacturers.
A Tesco spokesperson told the magazine the retailer was ‘laser-focused on keeping the cost of the weekly shop in check, offering customers great value through our combination of Aldi Price Match, Low Everyday Prices and Clubcard Prices’.
They added: “With household budgets under increasing pressure, now more than ever we have a responsibility to ensure customers get the best possible value, and we will not pass on unjustifiable price increases to our customers.
“We’re sorry that this means some products aren’t available right now, but we have plenty of alternatives to choose from, including Branston Baked Beans and our own-brand ranges, and we hope to have this issue resolved soon.”
In a statement, a Kraft Heinz spokesperson suggested price was at the heart of the issue, citing ‘today’s challenging economic environment – with commodity and production costs rising – many consumers are working within tight budgets’.
The statement added: “We always look at how we can provide value through price, size and packs so consumers can enjoy the products they love and trust at a price point that works within their budgets, without compromising on quality.”
Heinz said it was ‘working closely with Tesco to resolve the situation as quickly as possible’ and was ‘confident in a positive resolution’.