Term time holidays; open season after a landmark ruling?
Despite not having permission from the school for the eight-day trip, Hampshire father Jon Platt took his seven-year-old daughter to the Florida resort in April 2015, along with 17 members of his family.
He was initially fined £60, which doubled to £120 when he did not pay, and on non-payment of the £120, he was taken to court. However, his legal team argued that the law only required parents to make sure their children attended school ‘regularly’. Magistrates ruled that there was no case to answer before the case came to trial.
The decision also highlights another issue in that divorced parent Mr Platt has two daughters. He was only fined over the removal of one daughter, as the other is privately educated.
The Government website is very clear on the issue. Your children can only miss school if they are
- Too ill to attend
- If you have advance permission from the school
If you take your child out of school without a good reason, you can be prosecuted by the council and fined up to £2500, given a community order or a jail sentence of up to 3 months, plus a Parenting Order.
A petition to allow up to two weeks’ term-time leave for all children was debated in Parliament in late October and you can read the results here.