6 April 2017
The Green Party has responded to the Supreme Court ruling against Jon Platt, who took his daughter out of school to go on holiday in 2015 .
Today’s ruling that ‘regular’ attendance in school means ‘to attend on all days and all times that the schools requires it’ will result in thousands of parents facing fines, prosecution and even imprisonment for a single day of unauthorised absence.
Vix Lowthion, teacher and Green Party education spokesperson, condemned the decision. Like Platt, she is a parent of three children who lives on the Isle of Wight.
“We all want our children to have excellence attendance – but fines and prosecution are not the best way to ensure this. The Conservative Government is obsessed with formal, high stakes testing and believes that education can only take place in the classroom. Now parents will be criminalised for not only family holidays but one off absences like weddings and funerals – there is no flexibility allowed whatsoever.
“We’re calling on the Government to bring this policy to Parliament for debate. Instead of attacking parents’ choices, the Government should be enacting legislation against holiday companies who ramp up prices in school holidays well beyond the reach of ordinary families. They should be seriously looking at regional, flexible term times to spread holidays across a wider variety of weeks and welcoming opportunities for our young people to get out of the confines of the classroom and learn from the exciting experiences they have when away from home.”