So the truancy figures haven't gone down after ten years of throwing money down the drain. Here's what should happen in my opinion:
Pass a simple law that says any child found truanting should be arrested along with their parents and made to spend a whole day from 8 until 6 in a blank room with no windows, doing the most boring activities that the teacher (who swaps every hour) can come up with. Parents employers informed, £50 fine taken from wages or Benefits. Believe me they would never, ever do it again. Total cost- a couple of million in overtime for the teachers.
Here's what happens at the moment:
Pupil truants and parents deny it, come up with some lame excuse or just say that they can't control their brat. If the pupil truants repeatedly (say 500 times) then the school can beg their Education Welfare Officer to beg the Council to take the parents to Court. The EWO finds some reason why she can't do it so the teachers beg again, and again. A year later the EWO eventually agrees.
Six months later...
Council decline to take parents to Court. (Parent is mad/has promised to improve/is drunk)
Pupil truants another 500 times, school begs etc.
Council take parents to Court. Parents given a stern warning to improve.
Pupil attends school for a month.
Pupil then starts truanting and the whole process starts all over again. (Unless the child is in the last two years of school in which case nobody even bothers as the Council won't try to prosecute because of the time delay in going to court.)
Total cost of various ludicrous initiatives, vandalism, muggings and burglary committed by truants-£Billions.