30 Jan, 2014 @ 17:34
1 min read

School governor pays price for taking family to Costa del Sol during term-time

A SCHOOL governor who whisked his daughter away to the Costa del Sol during term-time is facing the wrath of angry parents on top of fines.

Paul Lowton, 42, deliberately ignored anti-truancy laws to take his family on a two week holiday in southern Spain.

His 13-year-old daughter missed eleven days at Macclesfield School, meaning they returned home to fixed penalty notices of £60 for him and his wife Emma, issued by the local education authority.

The father-of-five has now claimed travelling during term time saved him £5,000, angering many parents of children at the school who struggle to afford the increased costs of summer holidays.

Mr Lowton also claimed he had wanted his daughter to visit his close friend and foster Father who has cancer.

When they failed to pay the fines, the couple were ordered to attend Magistrates Court in Macclesfield.

They were each ordered to pay double the original fine plus £70 in costs after admitting a charge of failing to ensure a child of compulsory school age attended school regularly.

Mr Lowton is now facing a disciplinary investigation from Macclesfield School, where, as governor, he has been helping to promote truancy policy.

Tom Powell

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  1. Not sure what the answer is here. We like to take our 11 year old grandson away and always do this in school holidays but this is very restrictive money wise and time wise. Currently on the horizon is a visit to Venice, Rome, Olympia and other most important historical sites – not the beaches. If a child is ill they can be away for weeks and still catch up. With all the regulated lessons perhaps instead of fining it should be mandatory for the parents/grandparents to pay a teacher to catch up. An opportunity for a teacher to earn more money surely wouldn’t be unpopular. The school could lay on extra curricular session for all those wanting to take children away. Too simplistic I’m sure because the schools would empty

  2. It seems to me there are 2 course of action:

    1) All airlines and holiday tour operators do NOT raise their prices simply because children are on holidays. It should be illegal and it is certainly immoral, but of course that will not happen.

    2). Schools should stagger holidays thus making it very difficult for the said operator and airline companies to raise prices, and it would mean a lot more ordinary travellers would be caught in the net

  3. Perhaps parents should take the teachers to court when they go on strike at the drop of a hat. For not only interrupting the child’s education (albeit easily caught up) but also exposing their irresponsible actions and negative attitude in front of vulnerable and impressionable youngsters. What’s good for the goose…..

  4. I don’t blame airlines and holiday companies from wanting to make profits – why else run them. They are no different to those retailers having seasonal merchandise and sales to take advantage of market conditions – or those attempting to sell property at a free market price. The change/flexibility, if any, needs to be made at the school/college end
    We are in a capitalist society and if we weren’t I guess we wouldn’t be able to consider such holidays anyway. There are some cruise companies, like MSC, that offer free places for children in the holidays, though watch the bottom line. Staggered holidays to confuse the holiday companies might help but not much since there are only so many summer weeks and little wiggle movement at Easter and Christmas
    It really is complicated as some businesses can’t support large numbers of employees all wanting time off over school holidays.

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