People Like Us couple prosecuted for taking daughter on holiday in term time …

A couple prosecuted after taking their daughter out of school to go on Discount Holidays © holiday say they won t pay the fine. Karen Wakefield and Paul Dawson were found guilty of failing to ensure daughter Madison attended school following a trial at Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court1. But they say they will not pay the 620 in fines and costs which they now owe to the courts as they are bankrupt.

And Karen – who runs Wishy Washy laundrette in Harpurhey2 – says it is ridiculous she cannot take her child out of school whenever she likes. She claims the family told Manchester Communication Academy that Madison would be going on Discount Holidays © holiday rather than asking permission but the school say that Government guidelines mean they cannot allow pupils to take holidays during term time. Karen said: I think it s appalling. They say they are doing this because they care about their child s education.

In pictures: People Like Us parents in court

3 People Like Us Couple Prosecuted For Taking Daughter On <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday In Term Time ...

The more stress they put on us, the more she is rebelling which is not helping the kid s education.

The school can t go around making rules and regulations. They are not laws, they are sanctions.

Karen has slammed Manchester Communication Academy, where Madison is a Year 9 pupil, for taking the matter to court.

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She claims the 14-year-old was repeatedly bullied following her family s appearance in the BBC documentary People Like Us. The mum-of-two says the couple took the teenager on Discount Holidays © holiday to Turkey to relax because the bullying was affecting her . She said: We have complained that many times.

This is ongoing.

She is being bullied all the time. It got that bad that we noticed a change in her. My mum said we need a holiday – we went away in school time because it cost 800 less.

People Like Us Couple Prosecuted For Taking Daughter On <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday In Term Time ... Paul, Madison and Karen Wakefield at the Wishy-Washy laundrette

We sent a letter in to school two or three weeks beforehand saying we were going away. The day they broke up we gave Madison a letter. They knew we were going.

Karen says she and Paul will not pay their fines and have taken further advise from their constitutional law advisor Shaun Cassidy. Mr Cassidy was escorted from the building by a police officer during the couple s trial on Tuesday. The family would not return to the courtroom without him and were fined by magistrates who have given them 14 days to pay up.

A spokeswoman from Manchester Communication Academy said: With regard to attendance the academy follows the statutory guidelines from the Department of Education and is unable to give permission for holidays during term time.

There is no evidence to substantiate any claims regarding bullying from staff or students at the academy.

These allegations were originally made when the BBC 3 programme People Like Us was aired in Autumn 2012 and were thoroughly investigated.

At the time both parents were satisfied with the outcomes of the investigation.

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References

  1. ^ trial at Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
  2. ^ Harpurhey (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
  3. ^

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