A COUPLE, fined for taking their daughter on holiday during school term-time, have won their fight against the county council.

As reported in The Gazette, Nikki Hotston had to reschedule a family trip to Tunisia last August following a terrorist attack in June.

The mother-of-two, from South Ham, was given alternative options during the school holidays, but these were long-haul flights, inappropriate for her three-year-old son, Riley, who has special needs.

She chose a cruise in September, meaning daughter Grace Hill, seven, would miss two school weeks.

She said Castle Hill Infant School, in Winklebury, gave her verbal permission, before rejecting the request whilst the family was away.

The couple attended a court hearing in May, but it was adjourned because of a High Court ruling that saw a father win a similar case against Isle of Wight Council.

Now the Hotston family have been told their case has been withdrawn.

Mr and Mrs Hotston were due to return to court on June 23, but were told by their solicitor on June 16 that the council had withdrawn its case against them.

Mrs Hotston, 24, said: “I haven’t heard why. I’m happy it’s over.”

Grace had good attendance at school, and the High Court said that if a child has good attendance then they can go on holiday.

Mrs Hotston said she is glad the ordeal is over, adding: “I think it got dealt with quite badly bearing in mind we paid the fine and it wasn’t until a week before the court summons that we found out they were taking it to court.”

But she said it would not put her off taking her children out of school again, if necessary, adding: “I won’t take them out just because I won the court case. But if I need to then I would do it.”

Hampshire County Council declined to explain why it had withdrawn the case. 

A spokeswoman for the council said: “Each prosecution for unauthorised absence is considered individually, and Hampshire County Council takes many factors into account when making a decision whether to prosecute. In this particular case, we have decided not to proceed with prosecution and have informed solicitors and the court.”