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Do rules on term-time holidays need clarification?

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20 Feb 2015

A couple who took their two children on a term-time holiday to Corfu after a ‘traumatic’ year have been taken to court and fined.

But should we be penalised for enjoying family time if it’s needed?


Roy and Jenny Davies pulled son Alistair, 14, and daughter Rhiannon, 13, out of school for a week so they could enjoy some ‘quality time’.

The holiday apparently followed a stressful year in which a member of the family died and the children’s mother underwent surgery, leaving her unable to walk.

While the Davies deemed their circumstances ‘exceptional’, Alistair’s school didn’t agree, fining the parents £60.

With the cost of holidays having reached exceptional highs during the school holidays, is it worth taking the kids out of school and risking a penalty?

The Davies didn’t expect to be charged, so refused to pay the initial fee. They were then prosecuted and fined, leading to a total of £290.

The couple are said to be furious by the way they were treated, particularly because Rhiannon’s school took no action over her absence.

This family’s situation can be echoed by numerous families across the country. Perhaps there should be a black and white rule that is adhered to by every school.

It seems that the confusion surrounding what is and what isn’t acceptable is leaving families disgruntled and out of pocket. If schools applied the same rules and families were aware of the penalties before they went away, the Davies’ would have been saved from this grief.

However if your children are performing well at school, and the holiday doesn’t affect their grades, would you nip away for a term-time trip?

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