Criminal records for term-time holiday couple 'damaging'

A court decision to hand a couple criminal records for taking their children on holiday during term time has "done a lot of damage to the family", an MP has told ITV News.

John Hemming MP, who heads the group Parents Want a Say which campaigns against rules preventing parents from taking their children on holiday during term time, said the parents "may have to end up accepting this unjust decision" because of financial limitations.

John Hemming MP heads the group Parents Want a Say. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

He said: "It is sad that the courts take the view that a parent doing the best they can for their children in difficult circumstances is guilty of a criminal offence even though the parents got a conditional discharge.

"This case has done a lot of damage to that family and the costs of arguing in court have ended up as prohibitive.

"The difficulty for the mother is that she probably cannot take the financial risk of taking this case to judicial review and may have to end up accepting this unjust decision merely because of the financial limitations.

"The secrecy applied to this case does not to me seem to be justified and seems to be driven by a desire to keep the publicity to a minimum. I will be speaking further to the mother in the days to come."

Read: Criminal record for parents who took children on holiday during term time

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Couple get criminal records for term-time holiday

A couple who took their children on holiday to Australia during term time have been given criminal records. The parents, who cannot be identified, took their children on holiday for three weeks, which included 13 unauthorised days of absence.