A CARLISLE couple have been prosecuted for failing to ensure that their two children regularly attended their schools.

At the city’s Magistrates’ Court, the couple each entered a guilty plea to two offences. Prosecutor Jonathan Farnsworth outlined that part of the offence related to the couple taking their children on holidays during term-time.

The court heard that the children - who can not be identified for legal reasons - were taken out of their schools without permission on several occasions between September 7, 2017 and September 1, 2018, for term time holidays.

After hearing the details, magistrates imposed a conditional discharge for one offence for both the man and the woman and £40 fine for the other offence, along with an order to pay prosecution costs of £50 and a £30 victim surcharge.

In recent years, Cumbria County Council has said it will prosecute parents over a failure to get their children to regularly go to school only as a last resort.

Before that happens, the authority usually tries a variety of strategies to ensure that children are regularly in school, including offering support and advice, and the opportunity to work with education welfare experts.

Following an earlier prosecution, a Cumbria County Council spokesman spoke of how it also issues fines to some parents as an alternative to prosecution.

The spokesman said: “The council issues fixed penalty notices to parents when a child has persistent unauthorised absences from school.

“Penalty notices are only issued as a last resort to encourage improved attendance, and only after other options have been exhausted.

“Should a fixed penalty notice fail to secure improved attendance, the council will consider bringing a prosecution to court.

“This only occurs in a very small number of cases each year.

“The purpose of issuing penalty notices and / or prosecutions is ultimately to benefit the child by ensuring their attendance at school improves. The council employs access and inclusion officers who work closely with schools in Cumbria, families and other agencies to address attendance concerns and to promote the benefits of regular school attendance.”

The authority has repeatedly said it aims to give all children advantages offered by a full-time education.