Well, thanks very much to John Platt from the Isle of Wight for taking up so much public money over his little tantrum. In case you missed it, he’s the loving daddy who pulled his daughter out of school for an incredibly important and crucial visit – to Disney World.
OK – I get it! Holidays are more expensive when the schools are off, but that’s just basic supply and demand. It does not give every parent the right to regard their child’s schooling as if it’s a bargain bucket from KFC, to be provided on demand and according to their whim. Schools do not and cannot work that way. At least the Supreme Court saw sense and realised that to rule otherwise than against Le Platt would be grossly unfair to the overwhelming majority of parents who stick to the rules and that it would create absolute wretched anarchy in our already rather chaotic schools.
Most parents faced with a fine would have just coughed up. We’re only talking 120 quid, which equates to about one day’s lunch at Disney, but there seems to be some streak of melodramatic masochism in Platt by which he wants to be seen as the victim. The drivel he came out with as he bad-temperedly commented on the Court’s determination was intellectually offensive.
He claimed that this judgement was about taking away the rights of parents to make decisions about their own children. He claimed that even being a minute late for school would be a criminal offence. What a load of bollocks! It’s neither of those things. It’s about safeguarding the rights of children to education – the single most important thing we can give them – as enshrined in Rab Butler’s Act.
Headteacher’s must always have discretion to allow children time away from school where it is merited, but the circumstances should always be exceptional. Meeting Mickey Bloody Mouse at low season prices does not meet that threshold.
Have some pride, man! Admit you screwed up, pay the fine and don’t be so bloody stupid in future.