I really don't understand the thinking behind this story.
Just read the headline and reflect.
"Learning Drop Outs Could be Fined"
In fact the more I think the more bemused I become.
If this legislation becomes law we can only hope that the National Assembly will see sense and not follow the DES example.
Yes, we should be providing our young people with opportunities for education, learning and training, but surely forced participation is not the way.
I note from Wikipedia that Alan Johnson left school aged 15, worked in Tesco and then joined the Post Office.
How can a man with his background come to believe that youngsters should be obliged to be in school or training until their 18th birthday?
You can lead a horse to water.......
How right he is when he says
"There are issues around how we enforce this and what obligations we place on it"
Was there no one in his Department that could stand and say Minister I'm not sure this is such a clever idea?
Apparently a simple £50 fine would be used to enforce attendance, if not paid then the young person could be prosecuted in the youth courts and issued with a referral order, ignoring that would lead the young person further into the youth offending system, then what?
Our youth justice system barely copes, our Education Welfare Officers (truant officers) struggle, and in Higher Education student retention is an emerging and important issue.
The criminalisation of youngsters who for what ever reason fail to remain in the education system is just wrong, wrong, wrong