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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 July 2007, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
Child Catcher helps stop truants
Child Catcher
Alvin Stardust as the notorious Child Catcher
School truants are being warned not to skip lessons by the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

The Child Catcher, played by Alvin Stardust at the Mayflower in Southampton, is teaming up with the council to promote school attendance.

Unauthorised absences by pupils can lead to warning letters and fines of up to 100 for parents and carers.

Unpaid fines can result in court

appearances and even prison.

Southampton City Council have enlisted Stardust's help, after figures showed an average of 2,054 pupils were absent from schools in Southampton every day.

Stardust will be lending his name to the campaign to promote positive school attendance after the summer holidays.

The council insists that their methods were not as drastic as the Child Catcher's, but they are hoping that they can have a positive affect on students "bunking from their lessons".

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