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A Just Giving crowdfunding page was set up by Jon Platt to fund The Parents Union – an organisation which is campaigning against controversial legislation
Jon Platt lost a landmark case in the Supreme Court in April after a long running legal dispute against the Isle of Wight Council over taking his daughter on a term-time holiday to Florida.
The father who has two daughters and a step-son, is leading a campaign to challenge the ruling which he sees as “grossly unfair on parents”. He has also started a petition which has gained 15,364 signatures.
Used for any unauthorised absence
Writing on his page, Jon said:
“When Parliament passed the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 which introduced penalty notices in respect of truancy, they were specifically told that Penalty Notices would only be used as a quick and inexpensive means to address truancy.
“Now they are being used for any unauthorised absence and the Supreme Court has now made it possible for any breach, however minor, to result in a penalty notice being issued.”
“It is now possible for unexpected traffic on the school run to result in a ‘fine’ of hundreds of pounds being imposed on a struggling family, with no right to pay by instalments or have their ability to pay considered. This often causes terrible financial hardship.”
“There is no appeals process. If you don’t pay a Penalty Notice you get taken to Magistrates Court and get a criminal record. If this doesn’t stop we are going to see an unprecedented number of parents become criminalised by this legislation.”
Most committed offence in the UK
The campaigner stated:
“More than 300,000 parents have been fined to date. 8.5 million offences were committed in the Autumn term last year.
This is the most committed offence in the UK – more so than speeding.”
“A PCN should only be issued when children are truanting – the vast majority of PCNs issued are to parents whose children have not truanted.”
How to support
At the time of writing the JustGiving page had reached £3,322 of its £10,000 target, with 235 donations.
To support the Fund, please visit the Just Giving Page.