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Students return to classrooms in England and Wales as unions rally against absence fines

Education unions are calling for a temporary ban on school absence fines as thousands of pupils return to classrooms in England and Wales. Over a quarter of parents say they are not ready to send their child back to school, according to a survey of 3,400 parents by charity Parentkind. But local authorities will be able to fine parents who refuse to send their children back to the classroom up to £120, which can be reduced to £60 if paid within 21 days. This has been described as a "last resort" tactic by the Department for Education. Education unions like the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) have called for the ban saying fines will not comfort parents with virus fears.

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