Newspaper headlines: Term-time holiday case makes front pages

The case of the father who won a High Court ruling after taking his daughter on holiday during term time dominates the front pages.

The Times makes it its lead, and says Jon Platt won his case by arguing that his daughter had attended school regularly, despite a week-long holiday to Florida.

His victory paves the way for thousands of similar challenges, the Times adds.

The paper continues: "The government vowed that it would change the law and tighten guidance to prevent families from exploiting the ruling.

"Children are required to attend school regularly but there is no definition of 'regular', leaving schools, councils and magistrates to interpret the law."

The Telegraph says thousands of parents are poised to have their fines for removing their children from school refunded following the ruling.

The paper breaks it down into numbers - it says there were 50,414 fines in 2014-15 worth £3m.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Jon Platt took his case to the High Court

The Guardian reports that the government is "considering new laws to close a loophole allowing parents in England to take their children on holiday during term-time, after a ruling by the High Court left its school attendance policy in tatters".

The Mail suggests that the ruling could lead to a rush of families trying to find cheaper flights and hotels outside the school holidays.

"It is also a big blow to the government's crackdown on unapproved absences," it adds.

The paper compares the price of a week-long holiday in Majorca for a family of four during term time (£1,876) with the school holiday (£4,028), a mark-up of 115%.

The Express says the legal battle could now persuade thousands more parents to let their children skip school so they can take cheaper family holidays.

The Sun says Isle of Wight Council's barrister warned that if children had to attend only 90% of the time parents could take them out of school up to 19 days a year.

However, the Mirror says parents hoping to take youngsters on term-time breaks with impunity face disappointment - the Department for Education says children's attendance at school is "non-negotiable".

The Star notes: "Families argue they have no choice because it is too expensive during school holidays."


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Modern lifestyle

In an editorial, the Guardian says reasonable people will have some sympathy for both sides of the argument.

"Mr Platt's case holds a light up to a modern lifestyle that is a world away from the schooling of a century ago," it says.

"It's not just the government that must now decide where the boundaries between parental choice and educational opportunity should be drawn.

"It's all of us as citizens, parents and consumers. Yesterday's case was anything but the last word."

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Media captionThe Sunday Post's Westminster correspondent James Millar and journalist and broadcaster Louise Scodie join the BBC News Channel to review Saturday's front pages.

The Sun believes the ruling is a dangerous precedent.

"The prices travel firms charge in school holidays are an outrage," it says. "So we sympathise with parents' urge to take kids out of class.

"But their education comes before saving a few quid. An unauthorised week off can harm it. Bright kids may catch up. Others won't. And the law must apply to all. The government must make this ban work."

The Mirror says the case is an opportunity to create a more sensible law.

It comments: "Rigid rules do not work and the current system is failing families who deserve a bit of help. On the other hand, the education of a child is disrupted if arrogant parents decide what 'regularly' attending school means.

"So when the loophole in the law is closed, let it be replaced with flexibility for heads to make decisions, free from the threat of absences resulting in Ofsted marking down the school. Common sense should be the starting point."


First words

Flagship interviews make front page leads for some of Saturday's papers.

The Guardian has new London Mayor Sadiq Khan who tells the paper he has "achieved more in these seven days than in the last six years in opposition".

The Guardian says he said Labour was failing to "score enough goals" against a deeply divided Conservative party, wracked with infighting over Europe.

He added: "We need to understand that Cameron's government is as bad as John Major's. If you compare and contrast what John Smith and Tony Blair did during that period, compared with now.

"That is the trajectory we need to be on if we want to win in 2020."

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Sadiq Khan said Labour was failing to "score enough goals"

The Telegraph interviews the new chief executive of the RSPCA, Jeremy Cooper, who admits the animal welfare organisation had become too political.

He tells the paper it had alienated farmers in its aggressive campaign against the badger cull and that it would be "very unlikely" ever to bring another prosecution against a hunt.

Meanwhile, French energy minister Segolene Royal tells the Financial Times of her concerns about the £18bn cost of the Hinkley Point nuclear power station project.

The French government has an 85% stake in energy company EDF which is investing in the scheme.

The FT says: "The comments by Segolene Royal are likely to fuel already fraught talks over a final investment decision for the plant that is critical to the UK's energy future.

"The Somerset power station is expected to provide 7% of the nation's electricity within a decade."


New territory

That annual celebration of flamboyant entertainment is with us once again - yes, it's the Eurovision Song Contest.

For the Times, the event is entering strange new territory.

"Ireland is out, Australia could win and American viewers will be joining the party for the first time - 2016 is shaping up to be an unorthodox year for the Eurovision Song Contest," it says.

"Conspicuous by his absence on the stage in Stockholm tonight will be Nicky Byrne. The former Westlife singer failed to make it through to the final in a shock defeat for Ireland.

"This is a country that won it so often in the 90s - four times - that the Irish began to joke about wanting nul points to spare them the expense of hosting the contest the following year."

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Joe and Jake will represent the UK in Eurovision

The Telegraph says the United Kingdom's chances were given a significant boost when former ABBA member Bjorn Ulvaeus said he would vote for Joe and Jake.

The Guardian highlights something of a political controversy, with Ukrainian contestant Jamala saying Europeans should show they are "not indifferent to suffering" in Russian-annexed Crimea by voting for her performance to win.

On a lighter note, Matt's cartoon in the Telegraph has a man with Eurovision on the TV saying: "Brexit would mean having to organise 27 separate song contests with the other EU countries."