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Term-time holiday bookings soar after dad’s court victory: Travel firm says reservations are up by 88 per cent thanks to ‘Platt effect’

  • Ruling favoured Jon Platt, who took his daughter out of school for a trip
  • Online travel agent reported 88% rise in term-time bookings after ruling
  • Study suggests most families will travel in early July or late September
  • Flight search website reported 50% increase in interest in Lanzarote

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Parents are rushing to book cheap holidays in term time after judges said they could not be fined for taking children with good attendance records out of school. Last week, the High Court said Jon Platt should not be forced to pay 120 after he took his daughter out of class to go to Florida. The ruling appears to have led to a spike in searches and bookings for holidays when children should be at their desks, according to online travel firms which are calling it the ‘Platt effect’.

A study suggests travel searches and bookings have increased since a landmark High Court ruling

One local council, Middlesbrough, has even suspended the fines until ministers clarify the issue. Travel firm Sunshine.co.uk said bookings for holidays during term on its website rose by 88 per cent, while Cheapflights.co.uk claimed searches for family holidays during spring and autumn terms were up by 50 per cent for popular destinations including Lanzarote, Malaga, Gran Canaria and Florida. However, searches for travel to the same destinations during the summer holidays dipped significantly over the weekend.

The savings on a Discount Holidays © holiday in term time can be significant. A study last week found a family of four could save 2,400 going to Spain. Mr Platt, 44, from the Isle of Wight, turned the law on its head when he argued in the High Court that the fine he received for taking his daughter to Disney World for a week in April 2015 was not legal because she attended school regularly at all other times. Ministers may now change the law to close the loophole. Andrew Shelton, of Cheapflights.co.uk, said: ‘Jon Platt’s victory appears to have encouraged some parents to revisit their Discount Holidays © holiday plans for 2016, and look at the savings that can be made if they travel outside the school holidays.

Jon Platt, 44, was fined 120 for taking his daughter on a family Discount Holidays © holiday without permission from her school

‘What we’re calling the ‘Platt effect’ drove a significant spike in searches to popular destinations for travel during term-time dates versus the school summer holiday.’

The firm has seen a 21 per cent increase in searches for holidays in Malaga for the spring term and 50 per cent more for the autumn term. For Orlando and Gran Canaria, searches were up 47 per cent and 24 per cent respectively for travel in spring term. Chris Clarkson, of Sunshine.co.uk, said: ‘It seems many parents are already taking this court case as a sign that they, too, could get out of a fine.’

The news comes as it emerged that a headmistress is extending the school day by 20 minutes to give pupils two extra weeks of Discount Holidays © holiday during term so parents can get cheaper travel deals.

In a 12-month trial, Chiddingstone Primary School, in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, will have extended May and October half-terms. Head Rachel Streatfield said the shorter terms would also help pupils stay focused, adding: ‘Parents will benefit by taking children on Discount Holidays © holiday when prices might be more affordable. So far, we have received only positive feedback.’

Brighton Council said it may use five days when schools close for staff training to create a week’s Discount Holidays © holiday in term-time.

‘Fabian Cancellara’s retirement is a pity for all at Trek-Segafredo’

Edward Theuns is sad to see his teammate leaving the sport at the end of 2016, but hopes to maximise the benefits of riding with the Swiss.

‘Fabian Cancellara’s Retirement Is A Pity For All At Trek-Segafredo’

Fabian Cancellara wins the 2014 Tour of Flanders, his third victory in the race Credit: Graham Watson

Fabian Cancellara1 s Trek-Segafredo team-mates have lamented the loss that his retirement at the end of this season will bring to the squad, particularly his help mentoring younger riders. Edward Theuns is one of seven riders aiming to assist Cancellara win the Tour of Flanders on Sunday for a record fourth time, before the Swiss targets success in Paris-Roubaix next weekend a race he has already won three times, too. At 24 and one of many heralded as Belgium s potential next Classics superstars, Theuns is one of many keen to learn from Cancellara in his remaining race days.

Ghent-Wevelgem was the first Flemish race I did with him and I must say it s a pity that he stops because I really enjoyed racing with him, Theuns, whose stand-out spring one day results are second and third in Dwars door Vlaanderen, told Cycling Weekly.2

>>> Whatever Peter Sagan can do, Trek s Edward Theuns can do better (video)3

He s a true leader and he has so much experience in those races. It s great to race with a person and a rider like him.

I enjoy that I can be in his team for the last year. It makes me really motivated for these Flemish races.

While Cancellara is the undoubted protected team leader, he still shares his wealth of knowledge and experience to his team-mates, something which Theuns lists as invaluable.

The essential guide to the Tour of Flanders

He added: You observe him, looking at what he does in the race. If you re in the wind, he says wait a little bit and then go .

These are little things but you can save a lot of energy and he knows when and where he has to do these things. It s by observing this that you learn these things and I think that s the biggest thing.

Theuns compatriot and teammate, Jasper Stuyven, is being tipped as Cancellara s heir apparent with regards to the team s one day race leader, but Theuns own results including finishing second at Scheldeprijs last year4 suggest that he too could take Spartacus place in the future.

I think I can win the races just behind the main Classics now, but if I can win those big Classics, we ll have to see in the future, he said.

I hope it s going to be possible but I m going to have to see my evolution in the next few years.

References

  1. ^ Fabian Cancellara (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ Ghent-Wevelgem (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ >>> Whatever Peter Sagan can do, Trek s Edward Theuns can do better (video) (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ finishing second at Scheldeprijs last year (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)