A MUM on benefits has been slapped with a £120 fine because her daughter, who suffers from mental health issues, won’t go to school.
Young Maisie suffers from depression and anxiety and experiences panic attacks at the thought of going to school, which her mum says have become particularly bad since the pandemic.
Natasha told MyLondon: “She doesn’t want to go to school. What can I do? She just says she’s sorry and she does not want to go to school.
“It’s unfair that parents are being fined. I know you are responsible to get them to school but what do you do if they don’t want to go? How far does the responsibility go?”
She added that the school have failed to provide long-term solutions and have rejected a request that Maisie be allowed to study on her own for a few hours each day.
The family have discussed home schooling or moving schools, while Natasha has ruled out sending her daughter to a specialist unit.
She has also tried to take Maisie to the GP to address the problem, with no success.
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In the end the exasperated mum was taken to court because she did not pay the fine that Pimlico Academy gave her over Maisie’s absence.
She pleaded guilty at City of London Magistrates Court last week and was ordered to pay £163, combining the £120 fine and the court costs.
The costs will be taken out of her benefit payments in £20 instalments.
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Sentencing her, Magistrate Jan Carr said: “Good luck getting your child to school is all I can say.”
Future Academies, which owns Pimlico Academy, have been contacted for comment.