19. Parenting orders

Guideline users should be aware that the Equal Treatment Bench Book covers important aspects of fair treatment and disparity of outcomes for different groups in the criminal justice system. It provides guidance which sentencers are encouraged to take into account wherever applicable, to ensure that there is fairness for all involved in court proceedings.

The court may make a parenting order where an offender has been convicted of an offence under section 444 of the Education Act 1996 (failing to secure regular attendance at school) and the court is satisfied that the order would be desirable in the interests of preventing the commission of any further offence under that section (Sentencing Code, s.369).

The order may impose such requirements that the court considers desirable in the interests of preventing the commission of a further offence under section 444.

A requirement to attend a counselling or guidance programme as specified by the responsible officer must be included unless the offender has been the subject of a parenting order on a previous occasion.

The term of the order must not exceed 12 months.