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Challenge to truancy laws

EVEN competent parents may face prosecution for their child's truancy, the High Court heard last week. The Government is fighting a challenge by Alison Barnfather, who was fined pound;75 last year for failing to ensure her 13-year-old son attended school regularly. She argues that truancy laws deny the presumption of innocence guaranteed under human rights law. But Clive Lewis, appearing for Education Secretary Charles Clarke, said even those who were not negligent nor had any criminal intent could not escape strict truancy laws.

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