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Mirfield mum reveals £1,000 fine for taking son out of school

Anger after courts dock her wages

A Mirfield mum has warned how taking on Kirklees Council over a fine can end up in court.

Melanie Brown was issued with a £60 penalty notice after her son missed a week of school at Castle Hall Academy.

The teenager was in Spain doing work experience and Mrs Brown said she felt it was unfair that she was fined.

But after refusing to pay the £60 bill she found herself issued with a £1,000 fine.

She explained: “My son did four weeks work experience in the Spanish mountains setting up an animal rescue centre.

“Only one week of that month went into the school term.

“I emailed the school explaining what he was doing. They read the email but never replied. “When he returned his head of year was amazed at the change in him and how much he had matured. Yet they still fined me!

“He actually did something that made a real difference and we were punished.”

Kirklees Magistrates' Court, Huddersfield

Mrs Brown said she was summoned to court and did not feel she was given a chance to make her case.

She added: ”There was no real chance to defend or explain, it was a straight question of did you take him out in the school holidays yes or no and why haven’t you paid the fine.

“They reduced it to £730 and took it out of my wage at £230 per month as they said they knew I wouldn’t pay it.”

READ MORE: Fined for taking your child out of school on holiday? You're not alone

Another parent told the Examiner she and her partner were forced to pay £165 each in court costs after forgetting to pay £60 fine for taking their little one out of a Kirklees primary school without permission.

Castle Hall Academy, Mirfield.

But a third parent said their child’s primary school had not responded to unauthorised holidays for the past two years.

Last year, Isle of Wight dad Jon Platt successfully overturned a £120 fine for taking his daughter to Disney World.

Mr Platt argued that the legislation did not specifically require 100% attendance nor restrict holidays during term time.

The DfE said the Isle of Wight decision did not set a legal precedent, because magistrates’ decisions were not binding on other courts.

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