A mother who was jailed because she failed to ensure her daughter attended school, has spoke out in defence of the girl's decision, saying that the education system is a joke, and that she, herself, never went to school either.
Janice Twagger, of Wolverhampton, was sentenced to 2 weeks in prison after a judge said she had been "slapdash" in monitoring her daughter's attendance at the prestigious Derek Dougan school in the city.
But Twagger, 47, said:
"My daughter doesn't like school. She says that it is a waste of her valuable time."
The vocal mum then went on to explain how, in her opinion, school had become a "glorified babysitting service" with an endless round of training days, free periods, expensive school 'research' outings, game-playing and video-watching.
Schools, she said, were manned by staff who were either incompetent and unable to teach, or frightened of student mob rule and, because they didn't want to put their lives at risk, unwilling to teach. Either way, the government's education strategy had been ill-thought out.
Coupled with that, said Mrs Twagger, many schools were now a battleground with 'students' regularly assaulting each other and teachers, with a variety of deadly weapons, or dealing drugs at the school gates.
"Who, in their right minds, would send their kids into that kind of environment?" she asked.
But the Government's Education Minister Alan Johnson commented:
"Parents have a responsibility and a legal obligation to make sure their children attend school, regardless of the dangerous and life-threatening places they have doubtless become."