Parents have taken to social media to react to the Supreme Court ruling that schools can fine families for taking children on holiday during term time.
The news comes as Jon Platt, a father who disputed his fine for taking his daughter out of school to go on a seven-day trip to Disney World in Florida, was revealed to have lost his case, despite the fact that his child had an attendance record of over 90 per cent.
The High Court initially sided with Jon’s refusal to pay the £120 charge, but the Isle of Wight council subsequently appealed to the Supreme Court, the highest court in the country, which ruled against him.
According to YouGov, the latest figures show that more than 800,000 pupils missed at least one session of school (equivalent to half a day) because of a family break in 2015-16 – an increase from 690,000 in 2014-15.
However, research from the body shows that 58 per cent of people think parents should be permitted to take their children on holiday during term time, and 64% think that fining them for doing so is wrong.
The topic is now being debated across social media, as well as on TV shows such as This Morning, with a range of opinions being expressed.
‘Fine me all you want. I’ll still take my kids on holiday whenever I want #thismorning,’ one wrote in reference to a discussion taking place on the ITV show, whilst a second added: ‘what next from schools hey?! A list on what we can and cannot eat in our households!’
Many focused on the financial aspect of the ruling: ‘It’s a £60 fine. If poorer people can’t afford that then they can’t afford the holiday in the first place,’ a third commented.
‘Tbh you could take your kids on holiday during term time, pat the £120 fine and still save money,’ one pointed out.
‘Why are we not talking about the inequality when it comes to fines when taking children away in term time – poor v’s rich 😒😒’ another Twitter user wrote.
However, other parents said they felt it was taking away their automony: ‘Its not about him not wanting to pay a fine, OUR children – We know what is best for them! #ThisMorning’ one exclaimed.
Some also said that they believed holidays were educational experiences in themselves: ‘I back him 100% it’s a joke! I learnt more about American history more when I visited Newyork than I did at school #ThisMorning’ a Twitter user admitted, and another agreed: ‘Children learn far more on holiday than what the school curriculum can teach them. My sister learnt to swim in 2 weeks on our florida trip. She never did swimming lessons. She just got lots of time in the pool.’