Mum Fights Prosecution Over Term Time Holiday For Dying Son

The mum of a terminally ill boy has been threatened with prosecution if she takes him out of school during term time for what could be his last holiday.

Maxine Ingrouille-Kidd has been threatened with a fine of up to £120 if she takes her son Curtis out of school during term time.

Doctors have given Curtis, 13, who is a blind quadriplegic and has cerebral palsy, just a few years to live and warned he may only survive until his late teens.

Mum-of-three Maxine told The Sunday Times: "My son is 14 in October and this may well be his last holiday.

"He is never going to have a career, he is going to spend the rest of his life with us looking after him.

"I asked for a holiday request form and was absolutely flabbergasted and shocked when the response was 'no'."

Last September the former Education Minister Michael Gove introduced fines for parents in a crackdown to stop children being taken out of school in term-time.

Maxine, 56, and her husband Peter, from Wedmore, Somerset, had tried to book a cruise to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary in the October half-term holidays but a wheelchair-friendly cabin was not available.

They then tried to apply to take Curtis out of class but were refused and told they faced prosecution if they defied the order.

Maxine added: "It's the thought that I might be committing a crime that upsets me. I am a law-abiding citizen and this has been very stressful."

One of the couple's children posted the dilemma on Facebook and it received hundreds of messages of support.

An online petition by campaign group 38 Degrees against the new rules has already attracted 214,600 signatures.

Campaigners say many families cannot afford the higher cost of a break during the school holidays which on average costs 40 per cent more.

The petition said: "Good parents or parents that work full-time should not be criminalised for wanting to enjoy an affordable annual family holiday.

"All children who have a good attendance record should be allowed the opportunity to enjoy quality time with their parents on an annual holiday of up to 10 days once per year."

Somerset Council said it would speak to the school regarding the case.

The Department for Education said all head teachers are free to grant leave in exceptional circumstances.

If prosecuted, parents face a £2,500 fine or up to three months in jail.

Previously, schools could grant up to 10 days' leave a year for family holidays in 'special circumstances'.