Parents being prosecuted for taking their kids on holiday in term time have had their cases thrown out of court in landmark ruling
Two couples were facing trial after Swindon Borough Council accused them of failing to secure regular attendance for their children because they had taken them on holiday during term time.
One of the families had taken their child out of class for a 5 day holiday without permission and the council argued that the child had an 87% attendance record over a 6 week term. Magistrates, however, argued that attendance should be measured over a 3 month period, and that 90% attendance was not written in any law that they could prosecute under.
The legal argument basically comes down to whether attendance should be measured as a percentage of the 6 week term time or a longer, 3 month period, and as the Law doesn’t define this clearly the Court had no choice but to throw the cases out.
This leaves the door wide open for parents to take their children out of school in term time, and argue that a short holiday does not amount to persistent absence – giving parents greater flexibility on when they can take children out of school.
It follows a case last year when father Jon Platt had the £120 fine he received for taking his daughter to Disney World during term time overturned, with the court ruling that, again, her 8 day absence did not constitute persistent absence and so no law had been broken.
Here at Ashleigh Money saver we’ve written before about the huge costs involved with sticking to school holiday times to travel abroad, with holiday companies often charging 4 or 5 times more to travel during the school holidays. Surely it must be about time that this issue was addressed so parents have less reason to take their family holiday during term time.