Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Dad who refused to pay school attendance fine wins court case

MAGISTRATES in England have thrown out a case against a father who was taken to court after refusing to pay a £120 fine for taking his six-year-old daughter out of school to travel to Florida. 

Jon Platt, from the Isle of Wight, argued that UK law required only that children attended school regularly. Isle of Wight Council said it was following government guidance and was reviewing the outcome of the case.

Mr Platt took his daughter out of school to go to Florida in April with 15 other family members, despite an absence request being rejected by the school.

‘I cannot allow a local education authority to tell me what is right for my kids; I know what is best for my kids,’ he said. He insisted his children got ‘great value and great experiences’ from the trip, with ‘no detrimental impact whatsoever’ on their education.

Having refused to pay a £120 penalty, he successfully argued that Section 444 of the Education Act required parents to ensure their children attended school ‘regularly’, and did not put restrictions on taking them on vacations in term time.

His daughter had a 93.8% attendance record in the previous academic year.

Mr Platt told the BBC: ‘There is no complex loophole. Parents have nothing to fear from local education authorities (LEAs) if their children have attended school regularly. LEAs are trying to use the legislation intended to stop truancy to stop parents taking their kids on holiday.’

The council said it took legal action based on ‘appropriate legislation, Department for Education regulations, and guidance’.

Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk

Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/16784359@N07/2516799136">Beachcombers, Hafan Y Mor, Wales</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)

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