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19th April 2017

Think Twice About Taking Kids Out of School for a Ski Holiday!

Child skiing in ski resort EuropeWant to take your child out of school for a ski holiday? Don’t. Jon Platt, the dad who took his daughter out of school in April 2015 for a holiday to Disneyland has had his court case overturned by the Supreme Court, despite winning at every level up until then.

The judges of the Supreme Court ruled that regular attendance of students had to be in keeping with school rules.

Interim General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, Malcolm Trobe, has said that it is vital for children to attend school as close to 100% of the time as possible.

Research has shown that even short breaks can have a detrimental effect on learning, and that they can cause great disruption within the class. Particularly for the teachers who must help these children catch up on what they have missed.

Lady Hale, deputy president of the Supreme Court has furthered this statement, outlining the effects not only on the individual student and teacher, but also the work of other pupils. “"If one pupil can be taken out whenever it suits the parent, then so can others. Any educational system expects people to keep the rules. Not to do so is unfair to those obedient parents who do keep the rules, whatever the costs or inconvenience to themselves,".

The case has divided opinions across the country. Some are in complete support of the ruling, calling for stricter school attendance policies whilst others are demanding fairer peak-season pricing from holiday companies, negating the necessity to pull a child out of school during school when holiday prices are more affordable.  

The outcome has huge implications for parents, who could face fines or even prosecution if they opt to take their child out of school without permission even if they have near-perfect attendance rates up until that point. 

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