Should attendance rate be considered when fining parents who take children out of school in term time?
Should parents whose children attend school regularly be allowed to take their children out of school in term time without getting fined?
The dispute over term-time holidays has been an ongoing issue since September 2013, when, under new rules for English state schools, taking a child out of school was no longer a discretionary decision for the head teacher, but something parents could do only in exceptional circumstances. The change has been unpopular with many parents, who point to the sharp increase in costs for flights and packages booked during school holiday dates.
Today, the case of a father who was fined £120 for taking his daughter on holiday during term time will be heard by the High Court.
Jon Platt was cleared by Isle of Wight magistrates who ruled he had no case to answer as his child still attended school regularly.
But Isle of Wight Council, who issue the fine, have pursued the case in the High Court to seek clarification on whether taking a seven-day absence amounts to regular attendance.
The ruling could set a precedent for how cases are dealt with in the future and even bring about a change in the law.
Over 50,000 parents were fined in the last academic year for taking their children out of school during term time. Children in private school are not subject to these sort of criminal sanctions, which seems unfair.
So what are your views? Do you agree with the principle of fining parents for taking children out of school in term time? Should parents whose children attend school regularly be allowed to take their children out of school in term time without getting fined? Is it right to criminalise parents for taking their children out of school in term time? Is it fair that parents whose children attend private schools don’t have to abide by these rules?