PARENTS

Mum In Court For Taking Son Out Of School To Attend Her Caribbean Wedding

10/10/2012 16:33 | Updated 22 May 2015
Mum taken to court for taking son out of school to attend her Caribbean weddingMEN
When Frances White insisted on her son Harrison giving her away at her wedding, her dream backfired – and she's about to end up in court.

Frances, of Marple near Stockport, took her son out of school so he could give her away at her Caribbean wedding.

She is due to appear before magistrates next week after refusing to pay a town hall fine for her son Harrison's 11-day absence.

Frances slammed the move as 'ridiculous', adding:"I can understand why these rules are needed for people who abuse the system, but this was a one-off in exceptional circumstances - it was our wedding day."

But the local council was having none of it. A spokesman for Stockport Council said: "As schools are closed for 13 weeks a year, there is ample opportunities for holidays or family celebrations to take place outside of term time.

"Where term time holidays take place without the approval of the school, parents are liable to receive fixed penalty fines."

Frances, 31, said she first asked for time off for her 13-year-old son more than a year ago - so he could attend her wedding to fiance Nick Harden in St Lucia.

Despite several pleas, her request was refused by Marple Hall School. She took Harrison anyway, and was then hit with a £50 fine by the council, which she has refused to pay on principle. She has now been summoned to court with the fine standing at £100.

Furious Frances said: "One of my guests was a teacher who was given the time off, so I don't see why we should have been any different.

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We had to book it during term time because we both work full-time and it was the only time everyone could get there, especially with it being so far away.

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Frances said she emailed the school last year to request the time off for Harrison.

She said: "With all the organisation for the wedding it went out of my mind. In January, I realised I hadn't heard back so I emailed again and put in a request form.

"It took another three phone calls before I was able to talk to the head, at which point I was told categorically no, it would not be authorised."

She then contacted the education department at the council, but was told it any decision was down to the discretion of the headteacher.

A spokesperson for Marple Hall School said: "The school can clarify that it follows guidance from the local authority and national government.

"Although the school may sympathise with parent's requests, it is obliged to follow the guidance which is clear that permission for holidays can be given only rarely."

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