Term-time holiday decision welcomed by Staffordshire families

PARENTS have widely welcomed a decision that means they will not be fined for taking their children on term-time holidays of 10 days or fewer. Staffordshire County Council made the decision in light of a recent Isle of Wight case when a father was fined 120 after he took his daughter out of school for a Discount Holidays © holiday in term time. He successfully challenged the authority which imposed the fine, as the High Court decided his punishment was unlawful.

The Staffordshire authority has decided holidays of 10 days or fewer over two consecutive half terms will not be viewed as a reason to administer a fine.1

Mail readers reacted to this on social media.

Netty Webster wrote: “Whether taking the kids abroad or to our beautiful country, they are getting real experiences, learning different cultures, geography, history, and about local food – all first hand.

“This is way more valuable than reading from a book.


Read more: High Court rules in favour of father who took his child out of school for a holiday2

Term-time <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Decision Welcomed By Staffordshire Families


“Some families struggle to get time off during peak times, I experienced this myself a few years ago.

“Kids are not completely going without education when taken out of school.”

Many mums and dads feel the current system restricting term-time holidays is too strict. Trips taken in school holidays can cost thousands of pounds more than those during term time. Sharon Taylor said: ” If the prices didn’t go up in the school holidays then families wouldn’t have to go away in term time.”

Steph Greenhalgh has a similar view.

She said: “Maybe prices of holidays should be cheaper when children are off might help stop parents taking their children out of school.

“I know I can’t afford a Discount Holidays © holiday in the six weeks.”

Staffordshire County Council3 says that in the light of the Isle of White judgement it has temporarily changed its policy ‘until a full-scale review of guidance is completed, and the legal case resolved in the Supreme Court’.

Head teachers will continue to determine all requests for leave in term time, and will only approve those that are for ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Cases where a child has more than 10 days of unauthorised absence over two half terms in a row will be referred to the county council by schools. Councillor Ben Adams, the county council’s education lead, said the authority’s decision was a ‘common-sense approach’ in light of recent rulings. Marie Smyth wrote on the Mail’s Facebook page: There’s no better education than life.

As much as the classroom provides one sort – going out and travelling provides wider life knowledge.”


What’re your thoughts on this? East Midlands airline Jet2 bans alcohol on flights before 8am4

Term-time <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Decision Welcomed By Staffordshire Families


A ‘common sense approach’

STAFFORDSHIRE County Council felt it had to act to offer some ‘clarity’ to parents following the Isle of Wight court case. This is while a full review takes place. Councillor Adams said: “We recognise that the recent ruling in the Isle of Wight case has led to some uncertainty for parents.

“In order to give them some clarity, we are taking a common-sense approach while we take a closer look at our guidance.

“We are clear that there is a direct link between regular attendance and improved performance in the classroom, and parents have a duty to work closely with schools to ensure their child attends regularly.

“However, we also understand that with the rising cost of holidays and work commitments, taking holidays out of term time isn’t always possible for a lot of parents.

“Some authorities have suspended fines altogether; we didn’t think this was right for Staffordshire as we have seen the majority of parents responding well to the rules and not taking their children out of term time.

“We want to ensure parents and head teachers have as much clarity as possible while the review takes place, so they can continue to ensure their children stay in school and get the most from their education.”


*Read more of today’s top news stories here.5

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Term-time <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Decision Welcomed By Staffordshire Families

References

  1. ^ not be viewed as a reason to administer a fine. (www.burtonmail.co.uk)
  2. ^ High Court rules in favour of father who took his child out of school for a holiday (www.burtonmail.co.uk)
  3. ^ Staffordshire County Council (www.burtonmail.co.uk)
  4. ^ East Midlands airline Jet2 bans alcohol on flights before 8am (www.burtonmail.co.uk)
  5. ^ *Read more of today’s top news stories here. (www.burtonmail.co.uk)
  6. ^ Facebook (www.facebook.com)
  7. ^ Twitter (twitter.com)

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