Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.

Comments are usually moderated. However, I do not accept any legal responsibility for the content of any comment. If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Monday, 2 November 2015


I have commented a couple of times on the regulations concerning parents` responsibility for a child`s attendance at school.  Some of these cases can be quite distressing where the parent or guardian has all but chained a child to the classroom door but still faces the consequences of that child`s failure to answer the register.  Recently there was much publicity over the acquittal of a father from the Isle of Wight when he took his daughter on a family trip during term time.  It seems that the local council intends to spend a great deal of council tax on an appeal at the high court. This intention has itself been a topic for various media; an education websiteBBC and of course local press.  If the case does indeed proceed the result will be of considerable interest to all involved and to a far wider audience outside that southern outpost of the magistracy. 


  1. I'm not a parent myself, although my wife is a retired teacher, which meant that we had to pay the usual inflated rates when we went our own summer holidays. I have to say that I am amused by the wailings of parents up and down the land that the holiday companies are ripping them off, whilst completely ignoring the basic laws of supply and demand. They just don't seem to understand that, if the holiday companies charged the same rate the whole year round, all that will happen when families attempt to book their summer fortnight in Tenerife (or wherever) they will be told that the place is fully booked so they still can't go, unless they had the forethought to book a long time in advance.

    1. No sympathy at all with parents who take their kids out of school during term time. Education is more important than a holiday and I don't buy into the specious argument that a foreign holiday is educational and therefore a valid excuse. Poppycock. I do hope that the legislators will move quickly to close the loophole used by the father in this case.

      Meantime these parents should ask themselves how they'd feel about teachers taking holidays during term time.

  2. Education is more important then a holiday, But rote learning in school is not more important then ALL of the benefits that can be drawn from travel. e.g. my wife and I have been told on numerous occasions, that our children are gifted, i say BS , they're are not gifted they are experienced. My 3 children have all traveled to Australia from the USA for a month at a time or more and then come back and gone to school and continued to get good grades. Now as 2 of them have finished 12th form and the 3rd one is in her final year at the Parent teachers conference 4 of the teachers have had all 3 of my children and have all said the same thing, Paraphrased they said that our children depth and width of knowledge and their interest in their surroundings has made them a pleasure to converse with and the teachers felt that they had an advantage over their other students who have not had the opportunity to travel . Me i'm a 9th grade high school dropout with several businesses and my wife is a Pharmacist with a BS & BA degree in chemistry & Dux of her high school . So my kids have both sides of the coin to look out, 1 son no uni working for ESPN and 1 in a music education degree with the daughter going into a premed program at uni next august. So i say if they can keep up their grade let them travel as much as they want. imho.

  3. A few years ago (before the automatic fines were introduced) we were going to take a family holiday to tour the sites of Italy - Venice, Tower or Piza, Florence, Pompeii and Rome for Colusium and Vatican. We considered that this would be of educational merit, so requested that our son be excused the final 4 days of the school year. This was refused as we were told that lessons would be continuing until the end of term.

    So we did not take the break at this time, and due to work commitments, I was unable to book another suitable slot during the school holidays. What unmissable education did my son receive during this time? Watching videos, playing games and generally zero teaching.

    To add insult to injury, when we received the end of year report, he had been marked absent to all of the days that we had requested off, but had attended once permission was refused.

    I think that a bit of common sense would go a long way.