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Fines for term-time absences partially abandoned by Derbyshire County Council

Fines for parents who take their children out of school during term time are being partially abandoned by one local authority.

Derbyshire County Council has reconsidered how it hands out £60 fines for unauthorised absences after the High Court ruled a single holiday did not break rules on regular attendance.

Jon Platt refused to pay a fine after taking his six-year-old daughter on a family trip to Florida, with the dispute ending up in the High Court in May.

Mr Platt, from the Isle of Wight, was found to have "no case to answer" because evidence had not been provided that his daughter - known as M - had failed to attend school "regularly".

Derbyshire County Council has said it has brought in "interim arrangements" where parents will be issued penalty notices if their child's absence brings their overall attendance to below 94%.

A spokeswoman for the authority said: "We strongly recommend that pupils should not be taken out of school during term time and do not endorse parents taking them on holiday when they should be in the classroom.

"Even a small amount of time out of school can adversely affect pupils' academic achievement and under the new arrangements penalty notices will continue to be issued where all absence, including illness and unauthorised holiday absence, results in an overall attendance of 94% or below."

The spokeswoman added they believe the arrangements are "fair and proportionate" while they await the outcome of a Supreme Court ruling on the case.

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