Council defends holiday prosecution

York Press: Parents took two children out of school for an unauthorised holiday to Australia Parents took two children out of school for an unauthorised holiday to Australia

A local authority has defended its decision to prosecute a couple who took their two children on a term-time holiday to Australia.

Coventry City Council said it had followed Government guidelines in taking action against the parents, who claim the three-week break offered their children respite from the suffering of a terminally-ill relative.

The couple and their children, who cannot be named because of a court order, spent three weeks in Australia last October, including 13 days of unauthorised absence from school.

Both parents were conditionally discharged at Nuneaton Magistrates' Court yesterday after being convicted of breaching Section 44 of the 1996 Education Act.

The mother was convicted after a trial and given a 12-month conditional discharge, while the father pleaded guilty and was given a 10-month conditional discharge.

Magistrates also ordered the couple, who were prosecuted after opting not to pay a £240 enforcement notice, to contribute £800 towards the cost of the proceedings.

Speaking after the hearing, the children's mother told the Coventry Telegraph she supported campaigners calling for a relaxation of laws governing term-time holidays.

"The magistrates gave the fairest verdict they could under the current laws, which are flawed," she told the newspaper.

"I still feel I did the right thing for my children at the right time."

Coventry City Council said the decision of the court had demonstrated that its course of action had been correct.

The local authority said in a statement: "Our schools follow the guidance set down by the Department for Education in trying to maintain good levels of attendance.

"Schools decide whether to authorise leave based on whether they think there are exceptional circumstances.

"Penalty notices are issued by the council at the request of schools for various reasons including where the school has felt there were no exceptional circumstances to justify absence."

Comments (7)

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8:33pm Thu 10 Jul 14

beach1e says...

parents who choose to take their children out of school in term time should have to pay back the money wasted on providing a teacher for their child. i pay enough tax to support enough useless families, i dont see why my tax money that supports education should be wasted on families who dont want education for their children.
parents who choose to take their children out of school in term time should have to pay back the money wasted on providing a teacher for their child. i pay enough tax to support enough useless families, i dont see why my tax money that supports education should be wasted on families who dont want education for their children. beach1e
  • Score: -6

9:02pm Thu 10 Jul 14

hectorplain says...

It's unfair on the children who are denied a proper education because their parents are so dimwitted that they don't bother to ensure that the children attend class.
Some parents sacrifice a great deal to get a better education for their kids; other imbeciles don't see the value of education - perhaps because the system failed them, so they inflict their own low standards on their offspring,
I don't mind my taxes being spent on education, but I don't want to support the burden of those who can't find work because they did not apply themselves at the appropriate time.
It's unfair on the children who are denied a proper education because their parents are so dimwitted that they don't bother to ensure that the children attend class. Some parents sacrifice a great deal to get a better education for their kids; other imbeciles don't see the value of education - perhaps because the system failed them, so they inflict their own low standards on their offspring, I don't mind my taxes being spent on education, but I don't want to support the burden of those who can't find work because they did not apply themselves at the appropriate time. hectorplain
  • Score: -6

9:19pm Thu 10 Jul 14

We are PANTS says...

beach1e wrote:
parents who choose to take their children out of school in term time should have to pay back the money wasted on providing a teacher for their child. i pay enough tax to support enough useless families, i dont see why my tax money that supports education should be wasted on families who dont want education for their children.
And what about the teachers that go on strike?? Tw#t!!
[quote][p][bold]beach1e[/bold] wrote: parents who choose to take their children out of school in term time should have to pay back the money wasted on providing a teacher for their child. i pay enough tax to support enough useless families, i dont see why my tax money that supports education should be wasted on families who dont want education for their children.[/p][/quote]And what about the teachers that go on strike?? Tw#t!! We are PANTS
  • Score: 5

9:20pm Thu 10 Jul 14

We are PANTS says...

hectorplain wrote:
It's unfair on the children who are denied a proper education because their parents are so dimwitted that they don't bother to ensure that the children attend class.
Some parents sacrifice a great deal to get a better education for their kids; other imbeciles don't see the value of education - perhaps because the system failed them, so they inflict their own low standards on their offspring,
I don't mind my taxes being spent on education, but I don't want to support the burden of those who can't find work because they did not apply themselves at the appropriate time.
Tw#t number 2
[quote][p][bold]hectorplain[/bold] wrote: It's unfair on the children who are denied a proper education because their parents are so dimwitted that they don't bother to ensure that the children attend class. Some parents sacrifice a great deal to get a better education for their kids; other imbeciles don't see the value of education - perhaps because the system failed them, so they inflict their own low standards on their offspring, I don't mind my taxes being spent on education, but I don't want to support the burden of those who can't find work because they did not apply themselves at the appropriate time.[/p][/quote]Tw#t number 2 We are PANTS
  • Score: 1

9:22pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Border Terrier says...

Its the Travel companies that want prosecuting, increasing the costs for holidays during the school holidays. Parasites!
Its the Travel companies that want prosecuting, increasing the costs for holidays during the school holidays. Parasites! Border Terrier
  • Score: 0

9:48pm Thu 10 Jul 14

joetheman says...

beach1e wrote:
parents who choose to take their children out of school in term time should have to pay back the money wasted on providing a teacher for their child. i pay enough tax to support enough useless families, i dont see why my tax money that supports education should be wasted on families who dont want education for their children.
the teacher is there for the whole class not just one,but its alright for the teachers to go on strike and deprive the children of a days education and cause inconvenience and in some cases loss of earnings, kenny everett had a saying for twxts like.
[quote][p][bold]beach1e[/bold] wrote: parents who choose to take their children out of school in term time should have to pay back the money wasted on providing a teacher for their child. i pay enough tax to support enough useless families, i dont see why my tax money that supports education should be wasted on families who dont want education for their children.[/p][/quote]the teacher is there for the whole class not just one,but its alright for the teachers to go on strike and deprive the children of a days education and cause inconvenience and in some cases loss of earnings, kenny everett had a saying for twxts like. joetheman
  • Score: 3

1:40pm Fri 11 Jul 14

RealLivin says...

Supply and demand increase prices, one week half the plan is full then next week when the holidays start you could fill the pane 3 times over, most parents will pay the fine as its worth the savings made to go out of season.

Education is inflexible in that any missed time cannot be made up fully, children in hospital for weeks with illness's have the same issue, unless your are scheduled for exams the class room stuff should be able to be recouped at a later stage (summer school) and if its the last week before the summer holidays is it really an issue as most schools are winding down any way.

Then there are parents who think the holiday is more important than education or just dont care. But I have yet to here of a traveler getting fined for taking there child out of school for six months and the school having to hold that place open for their return.
Supply and demand increase prices, one week half the plan is full then next week when the holidays start you could fill the pane 3 times over, most parents will pay the fine as its worth the savings made to go out of season. Education is inflexible in that any missed time cannot be made up fully, children in hospital for weeks with illness's have the same issue, unless your are scheduled for exams the class room stuff should be able to be recouped at a later stage (summer school) and if its the last week before the summer holidays is it really an issue as most schools are winding down any way. Then there are parents who think the holiday is more important than education or just dont care. But I have yet to here of a traveler getting fined for taking there child out of school for six months and the school having to hold that place open for their return. RealLivin
  • Score: 0
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