County hall insists term-time holiday ban stays in force

    Kent County Council

    Parents hoping to avoid a fine if they take their children on holiday during term-time are set to be disappointed after Kent County Council told the Times that it will not be relaxing the regulations.

    A county hall spokesman said that any attendance rate below 96 per cent is ‘not good enough’ – meaning it is business as usual for school holidays.

    Last week Derbyshire County Council decided not to hand out fines if a child takes 11 days off school – the equivalent of 94 per cent attendance.

    Their ‘interim’ relaxation of the rules follows the High Court victory of Isle of Wight parent John Platt, who refused to pay the £60 fine for taking his children on holiday for a week during term time.

    A KCC spokesman said: “In Kent, through the joint efforts of schools and KCC, the average school attendance rate has been improved to nearly 96 per cent.

    “Kent County Council believes that an attendance rate below 96 per cent is not good enough, and schools will take initial actions to help or intervene when a pupil’s attendance rate falls below that figure without a justifiable reason.”

    There will be 195 school days in the county this year, meaning attendance is expected on at least 187 of them.