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Court - term time holiday :)

(70 Posts)
MandsJH Thu 18-Dec-14 21:17:02

I've got 2 boys. One in y5 and one in yr2

Eldest has had unauthorised absence for a week in oct 2010, feb 2012 and oct 2014.

Youngest 1 week in oct 2014.

Just got a letter saying they won't issue a penalty for oct 2014 as fines are a deterrent and we've had 2 previous penalties so it's going before the court.

Anybody else had this? What happens? Big fine? Surely not prison?!

Bad news as we have another week off school planned oct 2015 with £300 deposit paid.

And before you all think I'm not concerned for my boys education, that's not true.

They are both top of their class with perfect attendance other than these holidays. Plus they are never late, never disrupt the class.

ElizabethHoover Thu 18-Dec-14 21:19:06

Yes. You csnt accost repeated fines. His attendance must be pretty dire. I'd plead guilty. It's an absolute offence. No defence only mitigation.

ElizabethHoover Thu 18-Dec-14 21:19:21


Singleandproud Thu 18-Dec-14 21:19:29

Read up on your LA and schools holiday/attendance policy. The previous weeks off shouldn't really count as they are in different academic years.

ElizabethHoover Thu 18-Dec-14 21:20:03

Lol at perfect attendance apart from three weeks.

You deserve a fine!

OddBoots Thu 18-Dec-14 21:24:41

Accoring to this "If you have pleaded or been found guilty, the Magistrates have the power to impose a fine of up to £1,000 for an offence under S.444(1) Education Act 1996. Costs may also be awarded against you. Fines and costs are collected at a rate linked to your income."

So not prison.

Muchtoomuchtodo Thu 18-Dec-14 21:25:33

4 weeks off in 5 years.

If that's his only time off then his attendance will still be very good. It'll depend on what the policy for your LA says whether or not you can contest this.

MaudantWit Thu 18-Dec-14 21:39:22

Can you offer the court a compelling reason for taking repeated holidays in term time?

MandsJH Thu 18-Dec-14 21:41:21

ElizabethHoover your comments don't make sense. I'm not sure what points you are making in your first comment.

His attendance is not dire. He's had 15 days off in 5 years. That's an average of 3 days off per school year. He's had 100% attendance awards in the years we didn't go away. If that's dire God help everybody else.

Ive not posted on here for some time due to the bad press of the way some people comment on here. I now know why I've stayed away.

Thank you to everybody else that has replied constructively. It's very helpful.

ElizabethHoover Thu 18-Dec-14 21:43:01

There is no defence. He's either jn school or not. Reasons why he has to have a holiday are only mitigation.

ElizabethHoover Thu 18-Dec-14 21:43:26

And no. Not prison.

AnneElliott Thu 18-Dec-14 21:47:00

Can they count the week in 2010? I thought the rules changed only recently, so previous absences shouldn't be held against you?

MaudantWit Thu 18-Dec-14 21:49:23

Yes, it seems a clearcut case in that there have been repeated holidays in term time but the court will no doubt want to hear whether there are mitigating factors, ie compelling reasons why the holidays had to be in term time.

Starlightbright1 Thu 18-Dec-14 21:49:32

I can't answer your question but I can tell you there are people who think you should be burned at the stake for taking your child out term time on this forum... So My only advise is unless you can ignore those people to get the advise you want don't past about Term time holidays on MN

EdithWeston Thu 18-Dec-14 21:50:17

OO says the absences were unauthorised at the time they were taken, and so subsequent changes in wording of the relevant bits makes no difference.

There has never been a right to a term time holiday. Attendance at times other than the unauthorised absences don't come in to it, I'm afraid.

MaudantWit Thu 18-Dec-14 21:51:35

And this case is (presumably) about the 2014 absence, not the ones that have already been dealt with by penalties or the one that hasn't yet happened.

Starlightbright1 Thu 18-Dec-14 21:51:44

yes goos point was was it unauthorised in 2010..My DS started school in 2011 he had holiday authorised in 2011 and 2012?

WeeFreeKings Thu 18-Dec-14 21:52:21

You knew the penalties and chose to accept them in order to take a term time holiday. The fine will be of the amount the court chooses. I hope you saved at least that in holiday costs to make it worth it for you hmm

MandsJH Thu 18-Dec-14 21:58:59

Law changed 1st sept 2013. The 2014 holiday was booked well before this date too.

Makes me mad because many people I know get round this rule by ringing in sick or collecting kids after they've got their mark in the register, etc. We are upfront and fill the forms in honestly and are getting hassled.

Fair enough we broke the rules so will take the consequences but it galls me that if I had been dishonest all of this could have been avoided.

And we have no mitigating circumstances that will stand up. But each of the absences have been to spend time with extended family for special celebrations which nobody could have afforded in school holidays.

Castigate me if you like but a week out of school every other year is not adversely affecting their education at the moment (I would never take them out once they start secondary) but the travel and experiences have been priceless.

WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes Thu 18-Dec-14 22:02:28

When you say you've had two previous penalties does that mean you've had fixed penalties for the previous holidays? Which haven't deterred you from doing it again so now it's court? I know three days off per school year on average is not a high absence rate, and it does seem harsh, but hopefully you have very good reasons for doing it that can be taken in mitigation.

WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes Thu 18-Dec-14 22:03:12

Sorry, cross-posted.

Starlightbright1 Thu 18-Dec-14 22:07:36

Did you tell the school it was previously booked. I know our school parents who had booked holidays before the change were told it wouldn't be authorised but no action would be taken by head.

tippytappywriter Thu 18-Dec-14 22:16:18

I am sure that a week out of school won't hurt their education but it is the law. You send your child to school so you follow the rules. Fines haven't worked as a deterrent so presumably they think a really big fine may?
I'm not saying I agree with the change in law but it is what it is. You knew that and you've booked another holiday in term time.

AuntieStella Thu 18-Dec-14 22:20:13

I don't think when it was booked will make any difference. Because the holidays in 2010 and 2012 were also unauthorised.

MandsJH Thu 18-Dec-14 22:24:31

Naively we just thought we'd get penalty fines and that's how it would be. If you don't pay on time you go to court. We paid on time. Never heard of anybody going to court. We will undoubtedly cancel next years holiday now as court is not pleasant.

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