Term-time holiday fines in Derbyshire to be scrapped - but only for some

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Fines for Derbyshire parents who take their children out of school during term-time are to be scrapped - but only for some.

The county council is adopting a number of measures, including instructing headteachers not to issue fines to parents taking their children out of school during term time if the pupil’s overall attendance is above 94 per cent over the previous 12 months.

The authority says the arrangements are temporary, while they await the outcome of a court ruling.

Last year, Jon Platt had a fine thrown out of court for taking his seven-year-old daughter out of school to go to Disney World in Florida. However, Isle of Wight Council have since challenged that decision unsuccessfully, before appealing to the Supreme Court. A decision is expected later in the year.

A Derbyshire County Council spokesperson said: “The council has approved new interim arrangements following the Isle of Wight High Court ruling on unauthorised pupil absences.

“These arrangements provide schools with a guide to help headteachers make decisions about unauthorised absences.

“While we strongly recommend pupils should not be taken out of school during term time except in exceptional circumstances, we believe the interim arrangements provide a fair and proportionate approach using the average Derbyshire annual attendance rate.”

Fines for taking children out of school on holiday during term-time have long been a contentious issue and an online petition calling for them to be scrapped has attracted over 200,000 signatures.