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Benefits cut for families with truant kids

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Benefits cut for families with truant kids
Bohdan Piasecki
08:53 CET+01:00

The education minister announced on Thursday that 160 families have had their welfare payments stopped as a result of their children continuing to play truant from school.

 

The controversial new policy of scrapping benefits for families who fail to get their children to show up in school was introduced in January this year.

The policy, known as the Loi Ciotti (Ciotti Law), stipulates that an unexplained absence of four half-days in one months is enough to trigger the process. 

If families are unable to get their children to return to school, all welfare payments that are linked to the child will be terminated.

Education minister Luc Chatel claimed the tough policy had been a success.

"There were 32,000 families who were warned because their children were playing truant," he told news channel i-Télé on Thursday. 

Those families were invited to meetings with school authorities and "half the cases were resolved after this first meeting," he said.

The remaining families were invited to a second meeting, after which "only 160 resulted in the suspension of benefits."

The minister said the policy had worked for 99.5 percent of the families concerned.

"This shows that the threat of stopping welfare payments, which was heavily criticized, works," he said. 

"It makes the parents responsible and forces them to realize that they must get involved in the education of their child."

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