Doncaster council standing firm on term-time holiday fines

Doncaster Council has vowed to stand firm on dishing out fines for term-time holidays despite a landmark court ruling.

Friday, 29th July 2016, 11:55 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:42 pm
John Harris and Rebecca Parry are furious after being issued a fine for taking their child out of school in term time

Several authorities across the country have dropped cases against parents after a recent high court victory by one father in the Isle of Wight.

But Doncaster Council said parents in the town would still be handed fines when appropriate.

The decision comes after it was revealed 10 councils had dropped cases, six had suspended the issuing of fines and 11 were reviewing their policies after Jon Platt’s victory in the High Court in May.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Damian Allen, director of learning, opportunities and skills, said: “Regular attendance at school is very important for every child. Doncaster Council will continue to promote the importance of regular school attendance to all parents and where appropriate issue fixed penalty notices and take court action, in accordance with Department for Education guidance.”

More than 80 councils provided information as part of a BBC investigation on the impact of the case. Just under half said they were not changing any of their procedures and a handful refused to comment.

Last year Doncaster issued the second-highest number of penalties in the country to parents for taking their children on holiday during term-time.

In total, 3,559 fines were handed out in the 2014-15 school year – below Lancashire County Council, which topped the table with 4,279.

Mum Rebecca Parry was furious after being issued with a fine for taking her daughter out of school for three days, despite her daughter having a 97 per cent attendance record. She said: “There is absolutely no research or studies that have been done that can link taking a term-time holiday to poor attainment.”

Doncaster Council eventually dropped the case against Miss Parry, who is in he process of applying for defence costs after representing herself in court.