The strait-jacket of the State just got tighter: UK Supreme Court Ruling against Jon Platt & school absence

Jon Platt speaking outside UK Supreme Court today (taken from his FB page Jon Platt – School Fines Refunds

Reading the news today that the valiant Isle of Wight father, Jon Platt, lost his case in the UK Supreme Court comes as a sickening, if hardly surprising, blow to ordinary, law-abiding parents.

Mr Platt bravely fought the state on its insistence on fining him for removing his daughter for one week so they could go to Disney, because his daughter had been ‘regularly attending’ school having a 92% attendance rate. According to High Court rulings between 1969-2006, he said, this could be defined as ‘regular’. But no longer.

None of this is a surprise to those of us who’ve had children in State school for more than 5 years. In that time, we’ve felt the tightening of the strings on the strait-jacket that school has become. Firstly, the imposition of fines for parents who take their children out without permission in 2013, the connection of attendance rates with Ofsted ratings and the de facto removal of the Head’s authority to grant up to 10 days absence per child. Continue reading

Daring to enter the Forbidden Forest at Harry Potter/ Warner Bros. Studio Tour

One of the perks of writing a blog is that every now and then I get offered freebies to review. Most of them I turn down as I don’t write a blog to bore you all with reviews of things you don’t need. But I rarely turn down the chance to take the kids to see the latest thing at Harry Potter Studios, just 15 minutes down the road.

This time, that latest thing is the rather spooky and realistic Forbidden Forest, a walk through re-creation of the forest that Harry & pals were strictly forbidden from entering by Hogwart’s headteacher Dumbledore.  Now a note of warning here: if you’re at all on the slightly scared of spiders spectrum, you might want to skip this post. But for the brave of heart, read on! Continue reading

Lent – what does it mean to me? The Easter Tag

I’ve been tagged by the lovely Rebecca at The Beesley Buzz blog to write about Lent and what it means to me by answering 10 questions in a blog post.  As I’ve not written about Lent before I thought I’d join in, especially as this year we’re doing something a little different as a family that I’m quite excited about.  There’s 10 questions so feel free to read as many or as few as you like.

1.What does Lent mean to you? Continue reading

Uncommon Goods: a gem of a gift catalogue

If you’re like me, you’re probably going through a season where every birthday celebration is a ‘special’ one.  Up until recently, what was code for 40th is now beginning to be replaced by the unspeakable “50th” (hushed voice).  And then there’s the wedding anniversaries, with the odd actual wedding too.   At times like these, you really need something a bit different, something that little bit special.  If your friends are arty, like to recycle and love good quality craftmanship, then head over to Uncommon Goods. Continue reading