UK & World News
Truants' Parents Face Docking Of Benefits
Parents who let their children play truant from school could have their child benefit payments docked.
The Government's adviser on behaviour has said the current system of penalty notices does not work because around half of them went unpaid.
Under Charlie Taylor's new plans, the maximum fine will go up from £50 to £60, doubling to £120 pounds if not paid within 28 days.
And if people fail to pay, Mr Taylor said the money should be taken automatically from their child benefit.
Mr Taylor, who has worked in some of London's toughest schools, was commissioned by Education Secretary Michael Gove to look at the issue of school attendance in the wake of the summer riots last year.
Announcing his findings today, he will say: "We know that some parents simply allow their children to miss lessons and then refuse to pay the fine.
"It means the penalty has no effect, and children continue to lose vital days of education they can never recover.
"Recouping the fines through child benefit, along with other changes to the overall system, will strengthen and simplify the system."
Issuing fines to parents is one of the last resorts for schools to deal with absence problems.
If a head teacher decides to impose a fine, the parent has 28 days to pay a fine of £50 - if they fail, then it is doubled.
After 42 days, if the parent has not paid, then the school or local authority has to withdraw the penalty notice, with the only further option being for local authorities to prosecute parents for the offence.
More than 32,600 penalty notices for school absence were issued to parents last year, and more than 127,000 have been issued since introduction in 2004.
However, around half went unpaid or were withdrawn.
Mr Taylor is also expected to recommend that the Government should toughen up rules around term-time holidays.
The latest figures show that these remain a major reason for absence and in 2010/11 increased to 9.5% of overall absence, from 9.3% the previous year.