Almost four million school days were lost in one academic year as parents took their children on holiday in term-time, figures have revealed.
The statistics for 2015/16 show that some 3.65million days were lost to unauthorised holidays in England, an increase of half a million on the previous year.
The rise comes despite a fine of £60 per child for taking pupils out on school days, of which more than 150,000 were issued the same year, according to the Daily Mirror.
It comes after a father who had taken his daughter’s school to court over the £60 fine lost his case at the Supreme Court last year.
The statistics for 2015/16 show that some 3.65million days were lost to unauthorised holidays in England, an increase of half a million on the previous year
Jon Platt, 46, launched a legal battle after he was fined and prosecuted by his local council after taking his seven-year-old daughter to Florida in 2015.
He said at the time: ‘You’re the child’s parents. You should be able to make that decision without the state coming along and saying you’re wrong about that.’
The High Court found in his favour and said he had no case to answer but top judges said letting Mr Platt take his child out would penalise the parents who stuck to the rules.
The court’s then-deputy president Baroness Hale said: ‘Any educational system expects people to keep the rules. It is a slap in the face to those obedient parents who do keep the rules, whatever the cost or inconvenience to themselves.’
Jon Platt, pictured with his wife Sally in 2017, launched a legal battle after he was fined and prosecuted by his local council after taking his seven-year-old daughter to Florida in 2015
Taking a break during the busy summer holiday can cost as much as 60 per cent more than going on holiday during term-time.
In June 2017 another father fell foul of the rules when one of his three children was refused permission to take holiday for the father’s Greek wedding.
‘This was an event where the children’s father and stepmother got married, showing commitment to each other and a family,’ Dean Dixon, who received the £60 fine, said at the time.
‘What was I supposed to do, take two and leave the other behind?’
Dean Dixon had to pay a £60 fine after taking his daughter Katie (far left) out of secondary school so his children could come to his Greek wedding
The same month a headteacher in Teesside took time off from his duties to attend a wedding.
The school said Mark Ryan’s holiday was authorised because the wedding was considered ‘exceptional circumstances’ and would have been allowed for pupils.
But a mother at the school criticised him after she had cut short her holiday to accommodate the school rules.
‘I know education is very important for our children and parents do try and avoid taking children away during term time but when cash is tight sometimes it’s more suitable to go then.’