The Public Education Act 1899 allowed officers to be appointed to pick school-age children who were absent from school and take them and their parents before the courts (s.9). As a penalty, the child could be sent to an industrial school until the age of 14 (s.13). The Public Education Amendment Act 1905 further defined penalities for habitual truants (s.18). The Act acknowledged the responsibility of parents to ensure their children went to school but could also punish children, who could be brought before the Children's Court and dealt with under child welfare legislation. The court could send habitual truants to an institution until they reached the school-leaving age of 14. This offence was carried through into child welfare legislation until s.42 Child Welfare Act 1947, which dealt with truancy, was repealed by the Child Welfare Act Amendment Act (No. 2) 1962 and included in the Education Act Amendment Act 1962. Eventually, the term habitual truant was removed from all child welfare legislation by the Child Welfare Amendment Act (No 2) 1976.
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30 November 2021
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/wa/WE00924
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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