Cancer mother refused permission to take son on term-time holiday

  • Louise Hamilton, 40, underwent six months of treatment for breast cancer
  • Only break in her cycle came on September 7 when children were at school
  • School of 14-year-old son James said circumstances were ‘not exceptional’
  • She said: ‘I feel like I have to be on my death bed to get Discount Holidays © holiday authorised’

A mother with cancer was refused permission to take her son on Discount Holidays © holiday during term-time despite being the first time in six months that she had a break from her treatment. Louise Hamilton, 40, from Doncaster, has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy after being diagnosed with breast cancer in March. The only break in the childminder’s cycle came on the week beginning September 7 when she wanted to take her three children on holiday.

Cancer Mother Refused Permission To Take Son On Term-time Holiday Cancer Mother Refused Permission To Take Son On Term-time Holiday

Louise Hamilton, 40, who has cancer, was refused permission to take her son James (with whom she is pictured left) on Discount Holidays © holiday during term-time despite it being the only week she had a break in her treatment. She is pictured right on the Discount Holidays © holiday in Lincolnshire with her son Jacob and daughter Brooke

Cancer Mother Refused Permission To Take Son On Term-time Holiday

The mother-of-three from Doncaster (pictured on Discount Holidays © holiday with son Jacob) has been undergoing a six-month period of chemotherapy and radiotherapy after being diagnosed with breast cancer in March

But her son’s secondary school would not approve the request because it was not considered to be an ‘exceptional circumstance’. Mrs Hamilton said: ‘I have gone through an operation, 15 weeks of chemotherapy and scans, but this is not “exceptional” enough.

Cancer Mother Refused Permission To Take Son On Term-time Holiday

Mrs Hamilton said: ‘It makes me feel that I have to be on my death bed to get a Discount Holidays © holiday authorised’

‘I am absolutely livid. It makes me feel that I have to be on my death bed to get a Discount Holidays © holiday authorised.’

The Government has cracked down on unauthorised absences from schools, telling headteachers that they can no longer let children go on Discount Holidays © holiday during the term. Parents who take their child out of school in term can be fined 60, which increases to 120 if it is not paid within 28 days.

Failure to pay can result in court action. Mrs Hamilton, who is married to 44-year-old Andy, said the family had ‘craved’ a Discount Holidays © holiday after a tumultuous few months. But although the primary school that her younger son attends rubber-stamped the request, but Ridgewood Academy – where her 14-year-old son James is a student – would not budge.

‘We all craved a family Discount Holidays © holiday so we took the chance to book a short break as a great way to chill after my gruelling regime,’ she said.

‘My youngest son’s school, Richmond Hill Primary Academy, authorised this Discount Holidays © holiday without a moment’s hesitation.

‘My eldest son’s school however, Ridgewood Academy, said the Discount Holidays © holiday will not be authorised as it is not classed as an exceptional circumstance.’

Mrs Hamilton decided to go ahead with the Discount Holidays © holiday and took James, five-year-old Jacob and Brooke, three, away to Lincolnshire for a short break.

Cancer Mother Refused Permission To Take Son On Term-time Holiday

Ms Hamilton, who is married to 44-year-old Andy (with whom she is pictured on the holiday) said the family ‘craved’ a Discount Holidays © holiday after a tumultuous few months

Cancer Mother Refused Permission To Take Son On Term-time Holiday Cancer Mother Refused Permission To Take Son On Term-time Holiday

Mrs Hamilton decided to go ahead with the Discount Holidays © holiday and took James (right), five-year-old Jacob and Brooke, three (pictured left), away to Lincolnshire. The school said it is unlikely she will be fined

She said Ridgewood School has told her the Discount Holidays © holiday will be marked as unauthorised, but it is unlikely she will be fined. Mrs Hamilton added: The school have been fully aware of my treatment and I hoped they would show an ounce of compassion and let us have this week away.

‘James needed this more than my other kids as he has suffered more with the emotional side of things. His emotional wellbeing far superseded his educational needs at this moment in time. A spokesperson for Doncaster Council said they had not been contacted by the school to take action against the Hamiltons.

Because it is an academy, Doncaster Council has no control over the school. MailOnline has contacted Ridgewood Academy for comment.

THE FATHER WHO OVERTURNED FINE FOR TAKING DAUGHTER OUT OF SCHOOL… AND THE DUATHLETE HEAD ALLOWED TO GO TO AUSTRALIA

Cancer Mother Refused Permission To Take Son On Term-time Holiday

Jon Platt won a court battle last week after being funed 120 for taking his daughter on Discount Holidays © holiday during term time

Last week, a father who was fined 120 for taking his daughter to Disney World during term time had the punishment overturned in a court victory.

Jon Platt, 44, took his daughter to Walt Disney World in Florida in April along with more than a dozen members of his extended family. They had to travel during term because there was no other date when all the relatives would be available, but the girl’s school in the Isle of Wight refused to sign off on her absence. Mr Platt was duly fined 60, which doubled to 120 when he failed to pay it quickly, but he decided to spend money taking the case to court as a point of principle – even though he could have got a criminal record if he had lost.

After spending 1,000 on legal fees, magistrates ruled that because his seven-year-old daughter was only away from school for eight days, she was still attending ‘regularly’ and he had not broken the law. Campaigners welcomed the ruling, claiming that it could ‘turn the tide’ for parents seeking greater flexibility on when they can take their children on holiday. Councils may now be reluctant to impose fines on parents who remove their children from schools for a short time.

Meanwhile, a headteacher was criticised after he was granted leave during the school term for the second time in 18 months so he could compete in a duathlon. Paul Simon Abeledo, who works at Rush Green Primary School in London, travelled to Australia to compete in the 2015 Adelaide ITU Duathlon World Championships last week. The 45-year-old was previously slammed after he was granted leave to take part in the ETU Triathlon championship in Kitzb hel, Austria, on June 20, 2014.

Cancer Mother Refused Permission To Take Son On Term-time Holiday

The 45-year-old, pictured taking part in the ETU Triathlon championship in Austria last year, travelled to Australia to compete in the 2015 Adelaide ITU Duathlon World Championships earlier this week

Parents were left furious after being told about the decision via a school newsletter.

David Hodge, the Chair of Governors, said: ‘Mr Abeledo sought permission from the Chair and governing body to represent Great Britain in the 2015 Adelaide ITU Duathlon World Championships this month and was given unanimous approval to have five days unpaid leave to take part in the event.

‘The request was deliberated in line with the school s attendance policy upon which all applications of leave are considered.’

Mr Hodge added that Mr Abeledo had made it clear from the outset of his employment that he may sometimes require to take unpaid leave to represent the country.

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