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Parents whose high-flying children win prizes and play sports could be criminalised, Supreme...

The Telegraph

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Mar 25, 2014
James Eadie QC, appearing for the Education Secretary, argued it would be "absurd" if parents could head off on holiday with children when "the sun is out and foreign climes beckon" in a way that "undermined" Government policy on unauthorised absences.

The Government cracked down on unauthorised absence at schools in 2013, despite parents' complaints that travelling during the academic holidays is vastly more expensive than in term time. But last year in a landmark hearing, the High Court ruled that it is not illegal to remove a child from school as long as they had a good attendance record.

The decision caused a surge in term-time bookings all over England. The Isle of Wight County Council, backed by the Government, appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court, whose judgement is likely to be due by Easter. Speaking after the hearing, Mr Platt, 46, said his “gut instinct” was that he has lost the case.

“If I'm right and this goes against us, it's going to have serious implications way beyond what the DfE understand,” he said. “There were 12.8 million unauthorised absences last year. The actions of all those parents will have been criminal if we lose.

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