A COUPLE accused of failing to make sure their child went to school regularly will face trial on April 22.

Parents Ali and Rabelle Fazli, of Greenway, Eastcote, have been charged with not securing their 14-year-old daughter, Ayesha's regular attendance at Haydon School between October 21 and December 16 last year.

The pair denied the charges at a plea hearing at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court last Tuesday.

Speaking outside the court room, Mr Fazli said his daughter was afraid of going to the school, in Wiltshire Lane, Eastcote, because she was being bullied by a boy.

He said: "We are not bad parents. My 13-year-old son, Humza, goes to the same school and has a 100 per cent attendance record.

"Ayesha has been bullied for more than a year - both threatening behaviour in school and also cyber-bullying online, through websites such as Facebook.

"I have spoken to the school about this problem many times and they say they have a strong policy on anti-bullying. The boy was asked to apologise to Ayesha but that is not good enough. We have literally had to force her to go to school but she doesn't feel comfortable as long as he is there and has been asking to go to another school.

"We will fight this to the end - it's costing me a lot of money to hire a solicitor but the principle is important. We don't want this to happen to another child or their parents."

Pauline Nixon, head of access and inclusion at Hillingdon Council, said: "Prosecutions are taken very seriously, when all other options have been exhausted and always take into consideration individual circumstances.

"We have a duty to ensure children attend school and have in place a team of staff dedicated to supporting pupils and their families if and when issues arise that lead to absenteeism.

"We work closely with the schools in Hillingdon to provide a robust anti-bul-lying strategy and all schools have their own anti-bullying policies in place."