The Education Bureau has ordered a father to send his nine-year-old son back to school after keeping him at home since May over a HK$35 dispute with the principal. The attendance order was issued yesterday under the Education Ordinance, which empowers the government to force parents to send their children to school or risk being punished with a HK$10,000 fine and three months' imprisonment. Poon Chi-fai has ignored previous requests from the bureau and the school, and the government sent him two warning letters last month. He has kept his son at home, saying the Hong Kong Institute of Education Jockey Club Primary School in Tai Po had failed to provide a reasonable explanation for charging parents HK$35 for their children to travel to a school picnic. Mr Poon accused the school principal of fabricating receipts, but the school said it did not overcharge parents and that all the money had been spent on the children. He said he would continue to ignore the attendance order until the dispute was resolved in court. 'I will not let my son go back to the school. I might appeal further until [the government] sues me,' said Mr Poon, who is a garment worker. 'I want to defend my argument in court.' He was given 28 days to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Board under the Chief Secretary for Administration's Office. Mr Poon has not made any tutorial arrangements for his son, claiming the boy is learning more under his wife's home schooling. The boy's mother is a housewife and has an education level equivalent to Form Five. 'My son's studies have not been delayed ... he doesn't miss much from school,' Mr Poon said. His eldest son is 14 and attending Form Two, but he refused to name the secondary school.