Term-time holiday court cases dropped
A BBC investigation has found a number of councils have now dropped court cases, is this good news?
You may remember the court case of father, Jon Platt, who refused to pay a fine after taking his daughter on a family holiday during term time.
The court ruled that Jon was not liable to pay absence fines to Isle of Wight Council because his daughter had a good attendance record.
Now a BBC investigation has gathered details on the impact of Jon’s case from more than half of England’s councils and the results are quite surprising.
More than 80 councils in England supplied the BBC with the information they needed to do their investigation.
Ten councils had dropped cases, six had suspended issuing fines and 11 were reviewing their policies.
49 councils said they were not changing any of their procedures and a handful responded but only to say they would not comment.
A Department for Education spokesman said: “The rules are perfectly clear – children should not be taken out of school without good reason. That is why we have tightened the rules and are supporting schools and local authorities to use their powers to tackle unauthorised absence. The evidence shows that every extra day of school missed can affect a pupil’s chances of achieving good GCSEs, which has a lasting effect on their life chances – vindicating our strong stance on attendance. A child who is absent also impacts teachers, whose planning of lessons is disrupted by children missing large portions of teaching.”
However, parents are still taking their children on holiday during term time and there is a number of reasons why.
Price is a major factor of the decision, choosing to holiday during term time can add at least £1000 on the price of your holiday in most places.
I hold my hands up and admit that I have taken my children on holiday during term time, not only because of the price but because my husband struggled to get time off work during school holidays – so we could only have a family holiday during term time.
I believe a holiday can do wonders for children. There is a whole world out there for them to explore!
I realise that it must be frustrating for the teacher trying to ensure all children have learnt everything and having to deal with helping pupils catch up.
What are your thoughts, should we be entitled to take OUR children on holiday without being dictated to or are the schools trying to act in our children’s best interest?
Please get intouch and let me know…