A new School Bill proposed by the UK Government will enable schools to threaten parents with prison sentences if they neglect to receive permission to take their child out of school for a day or two – whether that be for a holiday, illness, etc. This is something PCP Wales have been talking about for quite a while and many concerned parents on Twitter have described this as a “power grab”.
One of those concerned parents is Susan Liverman – a mum of two boys who describes her family as “neurodivergent”- started a petition to stop this bill from going through. Susan started this petition with her friend Maddie and stated that they are “two mums who both have autistic children” and “they both had severe attendance difficulties with school while we tried to get them the support they need”. They further explain that “getting any help was really difficult… and during the time we took we were vulnerable to fines.” They essentially tell us that this bill not only strips parents of their right to be a parent, but also negatively impacts children with special needs. We have linked the petition at the bottom for those of you who may want to sign. As of writing this, the petition has almost reached 112k signatures, and #StopTheSchoolsBill is trending on Twitter.
Natalie Bennett, Sheffield Green Party member, stated in Parliament that the Schools Bill consideration “should not proceed through Parliament at this time” stating that out of the many people she’s spoken to “few believe that the Government are ready to proceed with the Schools Bill.”
We have reached out to Susan for comment on the petition and so far she has not responded, though we may do an update article soon.