Parents in the U.K. face being punished if their children are continually late for school. Britain's Education Secretary Michael Gove has announced he will crack down on what he terms "problem parents". He said too many families fail to "face up to their responsibilities" by ensuring their children get to school on time, and are "ready to learn and show respect for their teacher". Parents are already slapped with a 60 ($100) fine if their child is repeatedly late for school. However, 20,000 of these penalties were unpaid last year, prompting Mr Gove to announce a tougher penalty system. There will also be fines for parents who withdraw their children during term time to take them on cheaper family vacations.
Mr Gove said his plans were all part of raising standards in education, creating a bigger incentive for parents to ensure their children get to school, and tackling the problem of "habitual truancy". Gove also hit back at his critics, accusing them of adhering to policies that set pupils up to fail and of promoting "a diet of dumbed-down courses". He said opposition politicians shied away "from anything which might require grit". Gove warned their policies would send children to school "without daring to think they might be intellectually curious and capable of greatness, denying them access to anything stretching or ambitious, and setting expectations so low you can never be surprised by someone's potential".