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Contracts are popular

The use of parenting contracts has risen according to the latest government figures.

The contracts, which are used in cases of truancy and poor behaviour, are one way that local authorities can encourage parents to be more responsible. They are a voluntary measure used alongside penalty notices - instant fines of Pounds 50 to Pounds 100 - and prosecution.

The latest figures show that between April and August 2008, 8,013 parenting contracts were offered in cases of truancy - of which 6,861 were accepted by parents. A further 859 contacts were accepted where pupils had been excluded.

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