News: Mother summoned to court for refusing to pay truancy fine
A 31 year-old mother from Marple near Stockport has been summoned to court by her local council after refusing to pay a fine for taking her son out of school to attend her wedding.
Frances White asked the school, Marple Hall, for permission to take her 13 year-old son Harrison out of school during term time to attend her wedding in St Lucia to fiancé Nick Harden. When her initial email received no response, she repeated her request, eventually speaking to the headteacher, who refused her request.
When the family returned from the Caribbean visit, Ms White received a £50 penalty notice, which she has refused to pay. She will appear before magistrates next week.
She told The Daily Mail: “It is ridiculous. I can understand why these rules are needed for people who abuse the system, but this was a one-off in exceptional circumstances – it was our wedding day. One of my guests was a teacher who was given the time off, so I don’t see why we should have been any different.”
A school spokesperson said: “The school can clarify that it follows guidance from the local authority and national government. Although the school may sympathise with parent’s requests, it is obliged to follow the guidance which is clear that permission for holidays can be given only rarely.”
Parents are required by law to ensure their children receive a full time education. £50 penalty notices, which rise to £100 if not paid within 28 days, are one of several measures open to local authorities when children do not attend school regularly.
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Marilyn Stowe is the senior partner in Stowe Family Law, which has offices in Yorkshire, Cheshire and London. With more than 30 years’ experience handling divorce cases and family law proceedings she is regarded as one of the most formidable and sought after divorce lawyers in the UK. In 2012, Marilyn became one of the first solicitors to qualify as a family law arbitrator.
All persons mentioned in the scenarios are fictitious: details have been deliberately changed in order to protect identities and other confidential circumstances of my clients. All advice and information on this blog including posts written by guest authors, is given only as a general guide to the operation of the law on the date of publication. Readers must place no reliance whatsoever on the content of this blog and must always obtain their own legal advice. Marilyn Stowe, Stowe Family Law LLP and guest authors accept no liability whatsoever arising as a result of reliance upon its content.
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