UK court upholds fine against parent who took child out of class "without authorization"


Gotta protect those holiday companies and those sweet, sweet bumped-up summer holiday prices.

What this guy did wrong was to say he was taking her on holiday. Should have just written a sick note when they got back.


Nor are children the property of their parents/carers. Parents/carers have responsibilities towards the children’s well-being, but not “rights” that allow them to prevent the children getting an education.


That in itself is a disruption to the class. If the kid is a week or two, or more behind on class they have quite a lot of ground to cover. Seems like a huge asshole thing to do to a teacher randomly removing the kid from class and then expecting the teacher to take care of it when they return.


Questions not related to the curriculum which is already packed extremely full? Yes, that’s what I would call disruptive. It could also negatively influence participation because of perceived unfairness. Don’t forget the effect on the kid that was going on holiday. It’s not just this ONE thing.


also, Ms RiceHale likes threatening slaps in the face.


who’s Ms Rice?


I want to recognize the precedent where parents get to decide if a kid goes to school or on a family trip, because reality. I can see many ways changing this would lead to negative effects for the rest of the population.

“whim” is such an evenhanded term to apply to most other people. Would you say you default to showing so little respect for most people as to label their intents, intents unknown to you, as ‘whims’? May I do the same in any context, unchallenged,to you?

I like that the school asked. I think it’s a waste of resources that the school appealed. That’s the absurdity, don’t be obtuse thinking anyone doesn’t want schools to have a hand in the kids welfare. Just, maybe not the one with the hamfist on it, nor the back of the hand.


The typical curriculum is not “packed extremely full”. Our high school kids spend a maximum of 25-30 hours in face-to face lessons per week (in a 5-day week - it’s actually mostly 4 days a week now). Perhaps another 5-10 hours on homework. There is plenty of time to catch up.

We took our kids on an extended holiday during school time after clearing it with the school and their teachers. A program was worked out to minimise the catch-up. It was not an issue. I’d contend that their adventure in the Amazon and Galapagos Islands was a worthwhile supplement to their formal education, and was consistent our responsibilities as parents.


The fine ought to be paid directly to the child’s teachers because of the extra work caused by any prolonged absence from class. They’re probably held responsible for providing evidence of adequate student progress in assigned curriculum areas whether or not the child is present for daily instruction.


Actually, taking kids out of school for holidays outside of the formal breaks spreads the demand for holiday accommodation and services and can moderate prices. Wait… Edit… You’re saying the same thing. Then 100% agree!


That’s exactly the difference. The parents didn’t, which is why they were fined.


whoops. Sorry there. First coffee. Fixed.


Yes, that would seem to be the case.


I used whim, because they didn’t involve the school in their decision. It was made without considering anyone except the parents themselves.


I’m still confused by your statement. Can you please explain?


The school system has a long list of problems, and a child taking a rare vacation is nowhere near the top of that list.


How could they if the headmaster didn’t give permission for the student to be absent?

As the Dept of Ed said in the end:

“The evidence shows every extra day of school missed can affect a pupil’s chances of achieving good GCSEs, which has a lasting effect on their life chances.”

Does that sound like someone with a whole person outcome in mind? Or is that someone with a ‘single path’ outcome? This is a hammer, and your kids are nails. If they’re not perfect nails, in and out by the factory clock, it’s their own fault and you will be fined and shamed - not class warfare at all. How could it possibly be?? (sarcastic question)

But, hey the UKs highest Court is down with that. Don’t see it flying here in the US.


I respectfully disagree - government intervention should only be sanctioned for truly harmful or dangerous activities. There is a real danger in normalizing the “nanny state,” in that it fosters a general disrespect for government. If the government limited its interventions to truly serious matters, it might be accorded a greater level of respect for its actions. (wishful thinking?)


1 week absence from primary school (ages 5-11 approx). In Canada this is definitely something that happens and it is a non-issue. I think the school and state in the UK is maybe mixing up the requirement for “Education” with “Brainwashing or Incarceration”


Sure. She is the one using a violent interpersonal analogy for a civil dispute (one she was on the winning side of in court, at that), to illuminate and claim to speak the expectations of all the other parents, by equating an unpermitted family vacation to interpersonal physical violence against each member of the community, by the parent. That’s an escalation of language, not something I want in an educator, per se. Also a form of potty mouth IMO.

Allowing parents to decide when they took their children away would be a “slap in the face” to parents who kept the rules, said Lady Hale.