A group of Northland parents battling the government over the closure of their children's school have failed to appear, as scheduled, at the Kaikohe District Court.
Parents from Orautu School are being prosecuted for running an illegal school and for not sending their children to a registered school.
The ministry wants all 30 pupils taught in nearby Moerewa, but the parents think the children are better off where they are.
The school was officially closed in January but has been occupied by a group that includes a teacher and former board members, who say local Maori have not agreed to its closure.
Ken Brown, the leader of the group and former chairman of the board of trustees at Orauta, earlier said he wouldn't go to court because he believes it has no authority over Maori in this case and nor does the Ministry of Education.
Despite their absence on Friday three parents were charged with sending their children to an unregistered school.
Brown was charged with operating an unregistered school.
They have filed notice of their intention to defend the charges.