Pupils skipped school to help at shoot

By David GreenA HEADTEACHER has criticised parents who let their children miss school so they could help out at a pheasant shoot.Several pupils from Stradbroke High School missed a day's lessons in order to become “beaters” - people who drive the birds towards the guns.

By David Green

A HEADTEACHER has criticised parents who let their children miss school so they could help out at a pheasant shoot.

Several pupils from Stradbroke High School missed a day's lessons in order to become “beaters” - people who drive the birds towards the guns.

Now headteacher, Dave Shorten, has criticised the parents' decision to allow their children to take part in the pheasant shoot during school time.


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Writing in a newsletter sent to the parents of all the school's 350 pupils, he said: “There is no way such an absence will be authorised by the school.

“Not only does the pupil unnecessarily miss a day's work, but the payment he receives is illegal.

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“All paid work undertaken by minors must be registered by the employer so that it conforms to strict employment regulations which protect employer and employee. Please don't allow this to happen again. It might be tempting but it's not on.”

Mr Shorten could not be contacted yesterday for further comment as the school was closed for the half-term holiday.

But Elizabeth Maloney, assistant education officer for Suffolk County Council, said: “It is a parent's responsibility to make sure their children are attending the school where they are registered so that they can receive the education they are entitled to.

“The successful truancy sweeps we carried out in November and December last year were a way of reinforcing this with parents and we work closely with schools to check that they have the appropriate policies and procedures in place to make sure that their pupils are in school when they should be.”

Suffolk County Council said acceptable reasons for absence from school might include illness, a dental or medical appointment, the death of a close relative or a special religious festival.

But unacceptable reasons for absence included birthdays, shopping trips or working in a job during school hours in term time.

david.green@eadt.co.uk

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