Mum of truant boys: ‘I call them ASBO children’

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A MOTHER in court for failing to send her boys to school said she calls them “ASBO children” because they were allowed to roam free when they stayed with their late dad.

The 39-year-old Spalding area woman said her sons – aged 14 and 13 – are finding it hard to cope with the loss of their father, who died last year, and their grandfather is critically ill.

She said their father had “instilled in them that they didn’t have to have an education”.

The mum said her elder boy is the same height as she is and the same build.

She told magistrates: “When they lived in Kirton, they were allowed to roam free. They were what I call ASBO children.

“I do feel I am in a no win situation. I do my best to get them in. There is nothing I can really say.”

She pleaded guilty to two cases of being the parent of a child who failed to attend school regularly – one for each child – and was conditionally discharged for six months and ordered to pay £50 costs.

The mum told magistrates she had sought bereavement counselling for the boys, but there was a long waiting list.

Presiding magistrate Gillian Wild suggested she should approach St Barnabas Hospice as the charity offers bereavement counselling.

Mrs Wild said: “They have suffered a lot and they have got to get their heads around getting back into education.”

Anne Wheelan, a senior legal officer with Lincolnshire County Council, said the mother had received extensive warning letters going back to 2010 over the boys’ absences.

In recent times their unauthorised absence rates had run at 27.6 per cent.

A third mum was in court on the same day but the case was adjourned until March 28 as the boy is now attending school.