A persistent truant who was summoned to school to talk about his attendance refused to enter the building so the meeting was held – in his mother’s car.
Work-shy Ajay Hammond, 12, hates school so much he has only made it into class one day a week for the last three years.
His desperate mum Miranda, 37, who is just 5ft 3ins, says her burly son is ”built like a mini rugby player” and she cannot physically make him go.
The mum-of-four’s other three children have perfect attendance records but says she is at her ”wit’s end” with errant Ajay.
Even when she can get him out of the house he simply runs off from school – and hides in the woods all day.
Miranda and her son recently drove to school for a meeting with staff and an education welfare officer to discuss how to help him get back to class.
But Ajay flatly refused to get out of the vehicle – so the meeting was held in her small Peugeot instead.
Miranda, Ajay, an education welfare officer and another member of staff crammed into the small vehicle for the meeting in the school car park.
In the car he was given one last chance under the ‘fast track to attendance’ scheme – but he still refuses to go in.
Miranda says she has ‘tried everything’ to make him go to school but she has now been warned she faces being taken to court for allowing her son to play truant.
She says she will be glad to go to court because she wants help – and is even writing to David Cameron to intervene.
Miranda, of Sparkwell, Devon, said: ”I’ve been trying my hardest to get him to go to school.
”I used to pull him out of bed and get him dressed, push him in the car and through the school gates, but I can’t do that anymore.
“I’m 5ft 3inches and he’s much bigger and stronger, he’s built like a mini rugby player.
“He also knows the law and says that if I touch him that it’s assault. I’m at my wits’ end.
“Why are they prosecuting me when it should be him?
”If you’ve got a child that’s stronger and bigger than you then what more can I do?
”I’ve had enough and I’m absolutely sick of it. I’m going to write a letter to David Cameron.
”I don’t understand what the problem is, something needs to be done, there must be other parents in my position.
”There’s just got to be some sort of change. It’s not fair, we need to fight back for changes to get some help.
”Why should I be prosecuted when I haven’t done anything wrong? I’m doing all I can.”
Miranda says Ajay, currently a Year 8 student at Ivybridge Community College in Devon,
started refusing to go to school three years ago.
She says she had an accident and fell 30ft down a quarry in front of her son and he was so scared he wanted to stay home.
Miranda said: “I thought he may be worried about me but it’s been going on for years now.
“Then it was homework, then it was boring. He’s very headstrong and does what he wants.”
Last Friday Miranda was called a meeting to discuss the issue further but Ajay refused to get out of the car.
An education officer and staff were then forced to sit in the car and hold the meeting to talk about the truancy.
In the car Ajay was told he must attend school every day for four weeks under the ‘fast track to attendance’ scheme.
Any unauthorised absence will result in a £60 penalty notice which Ms Hammond will have to pay.
She has also been warned if the truancy continues she will be taken to court and prosecuted.
But she says she is “happy to go court” becasue she needs help and there has got to be “some sort of change”.
She said: “I’m doing everything I possibly can, I take everything away to make it boring for him and I don’t let him go to football training.
“Meetings are all well and good but where is the action? Police officers have come and he runs off, he hides in the woods, and then they go.
“People need to take notice and the MPs need to realise. They’re not the ones who have to deal with all of this.
“I could get a fine or go to prison and how is that fair when I’m doing everything I can?
“It’s even been said that I could go on a parenting course, but I need help not blame.
“I need to make a stand now. I don’t want sympathy, there just needs to be some sort of change for other mums like me.
“Even if my son does start going to school I will continue to try and help others.
“I’m happy to go to court if that means I will get some help.”
Miranda has three other children aged 20, 18, and seven, and she said all of them have regularly attended school and college.
Despite the warnings about his truancy Ajay did not go in to school on Monday, Tuesday or yesterday (Weds).
Asked about Ms Hammond’s case, a spokesman for Devon County Council, said: “Parents have the ultimate responsibility to ensure their child attends school.
“Education welfare officers will work with schools and colleges to try and help with specific issues resulting in why students are not attending.”
A spokeswoman for Ivybridge Community College said its attendance figure last year was 94.4 per cent – deemed to be ”outstanding’ by Ofsted.
She said: “We monitor attendance on a daily basis to promote the good habit of punctuality and good attendance.
“We have a robust system to track and support any students who may be absent.
”This begins with parents contacting the college if their child is absent and is further supported by an automated service to our parents.
“Letters may also then be sent to parents to highlight the college’s concerns and opportunities and support is available for parents and students to attend meetings to further discuss attendance issues. The college also works in liaison with the Education Welfare Office.”
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