A number of parents from East Sussex have been summoned to court for failing to make sure their kids regularly attend school.

Parents are being urged to ‘GET A GRIP’ in East Sussex County Council’s latest campaign to ensure children attend school every day.

In total, 16 parents were brought to court, while £2,370 in fines and £3,300 in court costs were given out.

A parent from Hastings was slammed with an 18-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £985 in costs for failing to pay a fixed penalty notice after taking their two children on holiday in term time.

Another Hastings parent was given a 12-month community order and made to pay £150 in costs.

Cllr Bob Standley, county council lead member for education and inclusion, said:

“Attendance levels in East Sussex are simply not good enough and every day of school missed adversely affects children’s education and harms their long-term prospects of success.”

The ‘Don’t Be a Mug’ and ‘Get a Grip’ campaign is running throughout the current school year and features posters of mugs and slogans to the same effect on bus stops, social media and local radio ads.

The council said two of the parents prosecuted were from Eastbourne while the rest were from Hastings and Rother.

Cllr Bob Standley, added:

“These prosecutions should act as a reminder to parents of how seriously we take this matter and how we won’t hesitate to take action – through the courts if necessary – to ensure our children get the best chance of a good education.”

Parents concerned are being advised to speak to school staff about improving their child’s attendance.

The County Council said absence in term time can only be authorised by the head teacher and anyone taking their child out of school without permission can expect to receive a £60 penalty notice or court action if they fail to pay.