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

Train of thought: London commuting

“‘Ello?” growled the voice to the left of me. “It’s me. Yeah, alright?,” the bloke continued into his phone.  “They tried to nick me for armed robbery.”

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Train of Thought

My eyes jerked open.

It was Friday evening.  I’d escaped the kids and all domestic chores and was blissfully heading into north London to see a play with my Irish cousin and partner.  After a rather intense week of my two putting up with only each other for company, I decided to do some mindfulness meditation based on the Headspace approach (more on that another time). Continue reading

Farewell, Headteacher!

'Goodbye Mr Connell' twig writing by my daughter & friendThe head of my children’s primary school is leaving today after 26 years in the post. Yes, I did say 26 years!

He leaves with a great deal of sadness amongst staff, parents and pupils who have all valued his leadership in many ways.

After such a long stint in the post (some of the parents and staff were pupils when he first started) its hard to do justice to a farewell. So much of the school, its character, achievements and even physical appearance, are inextricably linked to him and what he has brought to it. Continue reading