Taking children out of school post Platt

By | Category: Travel news

Back to school said the Supreme Court. Don’t holiday in term time. But some are not following the court decision

The BBC has announced the results of an investigation it has made into the number of parents being fined for taking their children out of school in term time.

Since Jon Platt exhausted the legal process in fighting the council on the Isle Of Wight about him removing his children from school, the BBC has found that the number of fines issued has grown considerably.

The view taken by Just about Travel over the years has been that, by and large, it doesn’t think that children lose a great deal by removed from school for short periods. Arguments trotted out by educationalists don’t necessarily apply to everyone and discretion would be a better option.

Now that it is a fineable offence it appears – from the work carried out by the BBC – that some parents are continuing to take their children out of school because the fines that they face – £60 per child – are cheaper than the extra costs that the family wold face if they holidayed during school holidays.

But fining parents is not uniform throughout our countries. Again, the BBC has found certain areas are more prone to fine than others with the Isle of Wight being the biggest issuer of fines. Could that be because the island is heavily dependent on tourism and many parents working in the industry cannot take time off during the holiday periods? The next two authorities issuing the greatest of number of fines are also two areas with significant tourist bases – the East Riding of Yorkshire and Suffolk.

It appears that fining is not a solution or at least not whilst the fine is just £60. It is obviously being flaunted by some parents who are basing a decision on when to holiday on pure economics. It would be interesting research to see if their children’s educational attainment suffered from not being at school compared to those that stayed. My suspicion is that most children didn’t!

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