Mr Platt has done it again

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Algarve - a holiday there would make children aware of how other peoples live, eat and socialise. isn't that an adjunct of geography teaching?

Algarve – a holiday there would make children aware of how other peoples live, eat and socialise. isn’t that an adjunct of geography teaching?

When Just about Travel last wrote about Mr Platt’s success in persuading magistrates in the Isle of Wight that he should be fined for taking his daughter on a week’s holiday to Florida, we speculated that the case would go to the High Court.

So it did.

He has won again.

The High Court agreed with the magistrates that taking his daughter out of school in term time was allowable. But not everyone who takes their children on holiday in school time should feel they can copy his example. Both the magistrates and the High Court seems to have decided for Mr Platt based on the fact that his daughter had an attendance record above 93% and good marks in her SAT’s as well.

It suggests that an attendance record less than say 90% (unless there is a very good reason) and not so good results in exams and assessments could have caused the case to go the other way.

What this tells councils is that they need to be careful in the way that they assess fines for parents. They cannot blithely fine everyone who follows Mr Platt’s example and take their children on holiday. They need to consider the school records before making a decision. The Department of Education needs to provide guidance to school heads about what may or may not be acceptable.

Common sense has prevailed amongst the legal eagles. It is as we have said before.  A day off school or even a week doesn’t necessarily harm a child’s education. If a day was so important why, towards the end of the summer term, do schools slot in un-scholarly activities? And why aren’t teacher absences taken into account when assessing the achievements of pupils?

This is the twelfth article that Just about Travel has written on this subject. It would be nice if it were the last.

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