Dad wins battle over term-time holiday fine

"I had to prove nothing"

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A dad has won his court battle over paying a fine for taking his child out of school in term time (note: there’s an addendum to this story – he later lost the battle at the Supreme court: full story here)

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Jon Platt requested to take his 7-year-old daughter out of school for 8 days so she could go on a family holiday to Disney World, Florida. When the request was refused Jon took her out anyway.

He refused to pay the £120 fine until eventually he was summoned to court. There he argued that children are only required by law to attend school ‘regularly’ – which his daughter had.

“I’ve had lots of messages from people, asking me ‘What is the loophole here?’ says Jon. “But there is no loophole, the law just says your children must attend regularly.

“I had to prove nothing – they just had to prove my child’s attendance was not regular. Her attendance for the whole of the last school year was nearly 94%. I don’t know where the threshold is but quite frankly parents need to decide for themselves.”

Later this month Parliament will debate a petition signed by 100,000 people requesting children be allowed to be taken out of school for up to two weeks a year for holidays.

What do you think?

Have you ever taken your kids out school during term-time? If so, did you just the pay the fine? Or do you think it’s totally out of order for parents to take children on holiday when they should be learning?

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