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Council Gives Parents Go Ahead to Term Time Holidays

Parents in one county have been given the go ahead, to take their children out of school for a term time holiday, without being fined.

Derbyshire County Council have bought in interim arrangement to scrap fines while they wait on the ruling from the Supreme Court. This newly introduced rule will only apply to students with an attendance percentage of 94% or over.

The new temporary arrangement will now see parents receiving a letter, informing them that their child’s term time holiday will appear on their schooling records. The letter, will also warn that additional absences during school time ‘may result in the issue of a penalty notice,’ The Daily Mail reported.

In the spring last year, Jon Platt, 44, of the Isle of Wight, took his daughter on a term-time holiday to Disney World, in Orlando, Florida. The 7 day absence was not approved by the school, even though his daughter had an attendance rate of over 90%. Mr Platt was hit with a £60 fine from the council, which later doubled after he refused to pay.

Mr Platt was taken to the High Court, after he refused to pay the increased fine. After successfully winning his case, confusion was caused among parents across the country, after not knowing whether or not they would be able to take their children on term-time holidays, without the risk of being fined.

Derbyshire County Council had one of the highest number of fines in the country, across the 2014/2015 school year, the BBC reports. 3,200 families were fined £60 per child.

A spokesman, speaking on behalf of Derbyshire County Council, said: “The council has approved new interim arrangements following the Isle of Wight High Court ruling on unauthorised pupil absences. These arrangements provide schools with a guide to help head teachers make decisions about unauthorised absences.

“While we strongly recommend pupils should not be taken out of school during term time except in exceptional circumstances, we believe the interim arrangements provide a fair and proportionate approach using the average Derbyshire annual attendance rate.”