It is, isn’t it? I don’t care what political persuasion you are, or who is misusing power at any given time, when the people making your life a misery get a snook cocked at them, it’s heart-warming. And this has just happened in a pretty majestic fashion.
The f******* in the Toff Party, in particular the f****** aka known as Michael Gove, introduced in 2013 a 60 quid fixed penalty for parents who took children out of school for holidays. A local hero, Jon Platt from the Isle of Wight, flat out refused to pay, took his case to court, and the magistrates came down firmly on his side and said, ‘Don’t pay.’
Isle of Wight council were displeased by this, and took the issue to the High Court. The judge ruled, ‘The magistrates did not err in law.’ This is posh speak for ‘Bugger off. Don’t be an arse all your life. Take day off, eh?’
Mr Platt was, of course, delighted. ‘The law is nice and clear. If your kids go to school regularly (his own have above the required 90% attendance) you can take them on holiday during term time.’
At this point, of course, some more f******* popped out of the woodwork. One was Jonathan Platt of the council involved. He pompously intoned, ‘We have clear statistical information that every day of absence affects the chances of a child getting good results at school.’
Nicky Morgan has said the same, and it’s patently not true that you can measure the effects at a one-day level. If children don’t go to school on a long term basis, yes, they’ll fail to get an education. Yes, I get that. But listen to this piece of drivel from a headteacher in Wythenshawe.
‘School attendance is crucially important in terms of helping pupils make the best progress possible, and achieving the best qualifications possible.’
Now, perish the thought that she’s actually thinking about performance league tables being adversely affected by a pupil not busting a gut to do well in his or her SATS. Never crossed her mind, I’m sure. Didn’t occur to Nicky Morgan, either.
‘It’s also important in terms of the social commitments they have to the groups they are working with.’
That’s pretentious and baseless bollocks. You know it. I know it. But this person in charge of educating the nation’s youth trotted it out.
Me? I reckon a seven day trip to watch wildebeest migrating across the savannah, to take just one example, would be worth missing a week in school.
The Department of Education jerked a knee, and said it will be looking at changes to the law. I think that the money frittered away in court might be better allocated to making sure that school roofs don’t leak.
Travel companies and airlines must have had their hearts in their mouths when the ruling came through. The loss of the extremely lucrative price hiking they operate during school holidays. Put on you big girl panties and suck it up.