Father set to fight term time holiday fine

Father set to fight term time holiday fine

A father is to be prosecuted for refusing to pay a £120 penalty for taking his seven-year-old daughter out of school to go on holiday to Turkey.

Patrick McLaughlin and his wife Josie face a court hearing in Swindon and a possible fine of £1,000 after taking Robyn - who had a 96% attendance rate over the school year and is at the top of her class - out of school for five days at the end of May.

They intend to plead not guilty inspired by Isle of Wight businessman Jon Platt.

Magistrates ruled that Platt did not have to pay a £120 fine for taking his daughter to Disney World in Florida during term time because she had otherwise attended school “regularly”.

That verdict was upheld in the High Court but Isle of Wight council, backed by the government, has launched an appeal in the Supreme Court.

Pending the outcome, many councils have stopped issuing fines.

McLaughlin said he had taken a stand because he did not think he had committed a criminal act.

“Robyn had finished her Sats and we wanted to go away as a family. Her grandparents came too. We asked the school and they refused,” he told the Sunday Times.

Going to Turkey a few days early had saved them £1,500 due to prices going up during school holidays.

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