Parents win

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

back-to-schoolLess than a week ago, I wrote about John Platt and how he successfully faught off council attempts to fine him for taking his children out of school in term time. I wondered whether his local council would appeal the decision and suggested they should give in.

In the week before half term, the Local Government Association (LGA) has come out with a statement saying that a ”… common sense approach to term time holidays should be allowed.” What this really means is that councils, the light of the John Platt decision, are preparing to throw in the towel on enforcing the no taking children out of school in term time for holidays.

In fact the LGA has even trotted out a thought on why section 444 of the Education Act may not be enforced. It is that “…it is an infringement of their (parents’) civil liberties under the Human Rights Act to decide what is in the best interests of their family.”

It follows on the heels of a freedom of information application that showed that the number of people fined for taking their children out of school in term time has trebled since the act came into force in 2013. Even then, Just about Travel suggested that the law was inappropriate and that a holiday break was not detrimental to learning.

What happens now? Are all those tens of thousands of people who have been fined and paid up to be refunded? Will the government apologise for introducing an unworkable law or does the Department of Education (DoE) disagree with the LGA? In fact the DoE has been very quiet about the court decision. the department issues press releases like confetti – over 45 have been issued since the judgement – but not one relates other than one statement that says that about 5.6% of school, absences during Autumn 2014/Spring 2015 were due to holidays in term time.

Will the DoE now issue new guidelines to schools?


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