A couple from Coventry have been given a criminal record because they took their children on holiday during term time.
The parents, whose names have not been disclosed in order to protect the identity of their children, had taken their children on holiday to Australia, taking them out of school without authorisation for almost two weeks. The holiday took place last October.
In court, both parents denied having committed an offence under Section 44 of the Education Act 1996. The mother of the children was given a twelve-month conditional discharge, whilst the father, who later pleaded guilty, walked away with a ten-month conditional discharge. They have also been ordered to pay £800 towards the costs of the prosecution.
After the hearing, the mother said: ‘The magistrates gave the fairest verdict they could under the current laws, which are flawed. I fully support any campaign to call for a judicial review. I still feel I did the right thing for my children at the right time.’
The head teacher of the children’s school had refused permission for the absence in accordance with new guidelines that were introduced by the government in September 2013.
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