Parents of children caught playing truant from school could face legal action in a new crackdown.
Kent County Council [KCC] officers have teamed-up with Kent Police for their first anti-truancy operation in ten years.
After launching the operation in Folkestone last week, the authorities will work in other towns across the county this year but have not yet confirmed where.
KCC said on day one of the scheme 16 school-age children were stopped in Folkestone during school hours, seven of whom were with their parents.
Reasons given for missing school included illness and medical appointments.
A Year 12 student told officers he was excluded from his school. The authorities are now considering legal action against his parents as exclusion forbids students from being within a public place during school hours.
In the past three years, school attendance rate in Kent has improved with an overall primary attendance rate of 96 per cent and secondary schools of 95 per cent.
Matt Dunkley, KCC’s Corporate Director for Education, said: “Maximum attendance is key to benefiting from the good teaching and learning opportunities.
“Government research indicates a significant negative link between overall absence and attainment, with every day missed associated with lower attainment outcomes.
“We believe children’s good attendance record is integral to enabling children to fulfil their potential.”