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Courtesy of Travel Mole.

A ban on parents taking their children on term-time holidays has been upheld by the Supreme Court in a landmark ruling issued today.

In a unanimous decision, the justices upheld a fine imposed on father Jon Platt who took his daughter on a trip to Florida in April 2015 despite being refused permission by the girl's head teacher.

They overturned last May's ruling by the High Court, which had agreed with Platt that he shouldn't have been fined £60 by his local education authority because his daughter had a good attendance record.

Delivering the judgment, the deputy president of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale, said: "Unauthorised absences have a disruptive effect, not only on the education of the individual child but also on the work of other pupils.

"If one pupil can be taken out whenever it suits the parent, then so can others.

Courtesy of Estate Agent Today

An estate agent has been ordered by a court to pay more than £7,500 after admitting advertising holiday homes as permanent residential properties.

The action was taken by a local council trading standards department which says the agent ignored a number of warnings and advice given to him.

Magistrates heard that Paul Staniford, who runs Stanifords estate agency in Beverley, Yorkshire, was one of many local estate agents who had received advisory notes in 2012 and 2013 from officers of East Riding council's trading standards department warning against the advertising of holiday homes, such as log cabins on holiday parks, as permanent residential properties.

The Hull Daily Mail reports that in March of last year, a trading standards officer discovered Stanifords agency was advertising residential properties which included a two-bedroom lakeside log cabin in High Farm Country Park in Routh, near Beverley, but there was no indication it was a holiday home only.

The newspaper website reports that a visit to the agency by council officers revealed more adverts for holiday homes in High Farm Country Park which “gave the impression holiday homes could be used as permanent residences.”

The publication claims that despite advice from the local authority, Staniford continued to advertise the holiday homes without making it clear they were not for permanent use and only withdrew the properties from adverts after being interviewed by trading standards officers.

Staniford was fined £5,000, ordered to pay costs of £2,466 and a victim surcharge of £120.


 

Courtesy of the Bournemouth Echo.

Tall TreesRESIDENTS of a ‘holiday park’ facing eviction were mis-sold their homes, it has been claimed.

The Daily Echo received a letter purportedly from the Tall Trees Home Owners’ Association which said many residents at the site, in Matchams Lane, “were led to believe that it was possible to live on the park permanently, as long as an emergency contact address was supplied”.

Christchurch council says the park only has planning permission for use as holiday accommodation and it now plans to evict the residents, the majority of whom are retirees in their 60s, 70s and 80s.

However, as the letter claims correctly, the council has been charging the residents the full band A council tax - £1,160 for 2016/17 - rather than the reduced holiday home rate.

The letter states: “Prospective buyers were advised that Tall Trees Park enjoys a 12 Months, Full Use Licence, which is correct. What they omitted were the words ‘as a holiday park’. This constitutes mis-selling.”

It further claims that only some of the contracts received by residents included the words “holiday use”.

Courtesy Travel Mole

A borough council says it will reconsider issuing fines to parents who take their children on holiday during term-time after it lost a court case against three families.

Swindon Borough Council had issued them with penalty notices for unauthorized absence, but they all refused to pay and this week the fines were overturned by Salisbury Magistrates' Court because the children's attendances were good. A spokesman for the council told the BBC it was disappointed with the outcome but that it will now 'reconsider the instances in which penalty notices are issued'.

The court case follows a victory by parent Jon Platt, from the Isle of Wight, who won his case at the High Court after taking his daughter to Florida for 12 days. He told the BBC: "The three parents who were dragged to court by Swindon council all had attendances far better than my daughter. "It's the local authority's misunderstanding of the law driving them to issue penalty notices and prosecute parents who have done nothing wrong."

A Department for Education spokesperson said: "Evidence shows that every extra day of school missed can affect a pupil's chances of achieving good GCSEs.

"Over the past decade absence rates have followed a downward trend and almost 200,000 fewer pupils are now persistently missing school than in 2010 thanks to the hard work of teachers who are insisting on improved pupil behaviour and attendance."