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School term time holidays OK if 90% attendance

(21 Posts)
ivykaty44 Thu 15-Oct-15 18:25:58

No case to answer to was the verdict in a magistrates court in the south today, as the children had over 90% attendance the patents didn't have to pay the fines imposed.

ivykaty44 Thu 15-Oct-15 18:27:59

HerRoyalNotness Thu 15-Oct-15 18:35:55

Common sense prevails at last!

brokenvases Thu 15-Oct-15 18:36:51

Well this is interesting!

VulcanWoman Thu 15-Oct-15 18:42:34

Yes, common sense.

ivykaty44 Thu 15-Oct-15 18:44:10

It is interesting that the parent didn't even need to defend himself as there wasn't deemed a case to answer to, this could well open the flood gates for further parents...

Sirzy Thu 15-Oct-15 18:45:03

Not common sense at all. It shouldn't be based on previous attendance as otherwise it is discriminating against those with medical issues, or who are just unlucky enough to be ill during the year.

HerRoyalNotness Thu 15-Oct-15 19:25:35

It is, in that it gives parents back the power to make decisions which are in the interests of their family, rather than the gvt doing it.

I'm in the US where there are similarly strict attendance laws, with bigger fines. BUT there is some leeway. If the child attends x number of days they pass the grade. If they don't they repeat it. So as a parent there is choice of whether to use those days for a holiday, save them for sickness or other.

Sirzy Thu 15-Oct-15 19:27:17

And for a lot of parents of children who have chronic health problems they don't get a choice. How is that a fair system?

brokenvases Thu 15-Oct-15 19:31:12

Sirzy I think it comes down to common sense from the school. Only two children have been authorised term time holidays at dds school recently. Both have chronic conditions.

Sirzy Thu 15-Oct-15 19:33:53

But a system whereby x value is placed as acceptable doesn't leave any room for common sense. And schools don't get to decide it is down to Leas.

ivykaty44 Thu 15-Oct-15 19:44:48

In this case the courts decided, not the LEA or the school

brokenvases Thu 15-Oct-15 19:57:34

Really? Our head says she is allowed to authorise in exceptional circumstances. That seems to deal with the children for whom attendance due to chronic conditions may be an issue and possibly then this ruling will be used with common sense for others?

Pantone363 Thu 15-Oct-15 20:00:21

I'm amazed at that

BoneyBackJefferson Thu 15-Oct-15 21:47:41


Schools have never decided, they have just followed the rules as set by the government.

Italiangreyhound Fri 16-Oct-15 18:27:14

Very pleased to see this was the verdict. Hopefully other families will not be penalised for wanting to take their kids on holiday.

GruntledOne Fri 16-Oct-15 18:50:09

The case doesn't set any precedent, as magistrates' court decisions aren't binding on other courts, so it would be very silly indeed for parents to go off and book their holidays in the belief that this decision will be followed if they are prosecuted.

I think the decision is clearly wrong. The duty set out in the Education Act 1996 is for parents to ensure that their children receive full time education, and if you take your child out of school for 8 days he is not receiving full time education - and indeed I can't see the logic in saying that that constitutes regular attendance. The Act sets out that the only circumstances when the duty does not apply are where time off is needed for religious observation and things like illness, or where the school gives leave. Apparently this particular court has a bit of a reputation for maverick decisions against councils. I suspect the local authority may well appeal and get this overturned.

Philoslothy Sun 18-Oct-15 20:23:14

Perhaps if over 95%. 90% is not great attendance, if most of us took of one in ten days off that would be seen as a problem. To be at 91% and then possibly take another 10 days off would be a problem.

pourmeanotherglass Mon 19-Oct-15 21:23:57

Philosophy - if you read the link, it was 100% before the holiday, went down to 90% including the holiday, which was April, then 100% attendance after the holiday brings the end of year total to 94%.

Philoslothy Tue 20-Oct-15 00:21:04

I was responding to the thread title and the general idea rather than a particular case. I did miss the link, thanks for pointing it out. smile

TheNewStatesman Tue 20-Oct-15 03:51:05

"It shouldn't be based on previous attendance as otherwise it is discriminating against those with medical issues, or who are just unlucky enough to be ill during the year."

I kind of see what you mean, but I think there is also a question of "you can afford some time off for fun stuff if you are not frantically trying to catch up on work you have missed." I mean, I would definitely think twice about taking my child "out" for a holiday IF she had been ill and missed quite a bit of work over the year.

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