Taking children on holiday in term time: the issue that won’t go away

One parent is awaiting an appeal over fines for taking his children out of school, and thousands more have already paid £60 penalties. Are families ‘held to ransom’ – and should the government act?

Ahead of a high court ruling on the case of a parent who was fined after taking his children on holiday during term time, a travel money provider claims tour operators are “holding parents to ransom” by doubling the costs of family holidays during the summer break.

Businessman John Platt will learn tomorrow (13 May) the outcome of his ongoing dispute with Isle of Wight Council, which took him to court in October 2015 after failing to pay a £120 fine for taking his children out of school for a family holiday to Disneyworld Florida. Although the fine was overturned in the magistrates court, the council has appealed to the high court, challenging the decision and seeking clarification on the law.

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