U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider for term-time holidays

Published on : Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Family TravelA case, which began with a disagreement over a term-time holiday to Florida, is now on the roll with the concern whether a parent will be allowed to take a child out of school for a term-time holidays given the rest of the attendance is satisfactory. The Supreme Court of the U.S. is considering the legal arguments.


Last year, local council fined Jon Platt, a businessperson, £120 for taking his six-year-old daughter out of school for a family trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando when he refused to pay.  The High Court ruled in Mr Platt’s favour however, the Isle of Wight Council, supported by the Department for Education, took the case to the Supreme Court, arguing that a child’s overall attendance is not relevant.


The prices for the flight and other holiday destinations rise by 50 to 100 per cent when schools are out and sometimes they even increases three or four times.


The head teachers in England were able to grant up to two weeks a year for family holidays in “special circumstances” until 2013. However, the then Education Secretary Michael Gove considered taking children out of school during term-time. According to the law, there is a fixed penalty of £60 for unauthorised absences. If not paid promptly, the fine would be doubled.


The High Court, though, concluded that if a child’s overall attendance is at least 90 per cent, a parent should be able to take them out of school for a holiday.


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