The amount of term time holiday bookings has rocketed by 88%, and term time holiday searches have increased by 92%, since a Father won a High Court case for taking his daughter to Florida out of the school holidays. These percentages are set to further soar, even though the Government have not yet relaxed their term time holiday policies.
In April last year, Jon Platt, 44, took his daughter to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, resulting in her having a 7-day absence off of school. However, as this was not approved by the school, even though his daughter had an attendance rate of over 90%, Mr. Platt was penalised with a £60.00 fine from The Isle of Weight Council. As Mr. Platt refused to pay this charge, it was later increased by 50%, which he also refused to pay. In the 2014/15 school year, 50,414 fines were distributed to parents producing around £3 million.
As of 2013, the rules about when a parent can take their child/children out of school and for how long have become much stricter. The government policies put in place meant that head teachers can only allow a 10-day absence for “special circumstances” during term time.
Following his payment refusal, Mr Platt’s case was taken to the High Court. In order for him to fund the legal charges of his case, Mr. Platt crowdfunded £25,000. Although Mr.Platt eventually won his court case, having a great impact on term time bookings, this has caused confusion amongst many parents. Many parents now do not know whether or not they can take their children out of school in term time, without being fined like Mr.Platt.