KIDS are bunking off school to attend pro-Palestine protests as part of a “coordinated national campaign” laid bare today.
A major study has revealed an organised network encourages pupils as young as eight to skip class and advises parents on how to avoid fines.
AlamyThe paper details how parents are marshalled to pull their kids out of class through WhatsApp chats and various pro-Palestine groups[/caption]
Since the Israel-Hamas war erupted, a number of “school strikes” have been staged.
The Policy Exchange report — backed by former Education Secretaries Nadhim Zahawi and Ruth Kelly — demands automatic penalties for parents letting kids miss school.
And it urges ministers to tighten the rules on unauthorised absences being exploited for truancy.
The paper details how parents are marshalled to pull their kids out of class through WhatsApp chats and various pro-Palestine groups.
It singles out the Stop The War Coalition for issuing a memo on “how to organise a school strike” which included advice on dodging fines.
The report also raises concerns about teachers turning a blind eye.
It said: “We’ve been assured by those working in schools that whilst this would count as an unauthorised absence, a child can have up to four days in a row unauthorised and would need 10 in a short amount of time to be fined.”
The report also raises concerns about “school impartiality” where teachers turn a blind eye to truancy.
Recommending on the spot fines for skipping school, it says: “Absence for activism is a deliberately premeditated act of truancy that can carry risks to the child, and accordingly should be treated in a more severe way than more ‘typical’ acts of unauthorised absence, such as a visit to grandparents during term time.”
Tory Mr Zahawi said: “We all have a duty to come together to address this.”