Mother given criminal record for taking her son out of school to visit dying grandfather

Fiona Day By Fiona Day Freelance writer

A mother has been fined and given a criminal record after she took her son out of school and brought him to Majorca to say goodbye to his dying grandfather.

Sally Randell, 35, from Lancashire, took her 13-year-old son James out of school during term-time on a trip to Majorca.

Rather than it being a relaxing family holiday scheduled during the school term, James was brought out of school to fly to the island and say goodbye to his dying grandfather.

James flew out to Majorca with his mum to visit his grandfather, who died from pancreatic cancer just 3 months later.

Following a court hearing, Sally Randell expressed her upset at being penalised for wanting her son to say a proper goodbye to his grandfather.

‘It was his last holiday with his grandchildren,’ she said. 'I feel it’s an exceptional circumstance, because of the memories and photographs we’ve got from this holiday.’

‘It’s upsetting because I’ve never been in trouble with the police in my life.’

Sally flew her son to Majorca to visit his grandfather, who later died from pancreatic cancer
Sally flew her son to Majorca to visit his grandfather, who later died from pancreatic cancer

Sally, who will now have a criminal record for 6 months, reasoned: 'I understand I broke the law, but if the headteacher doesn’t think a grandparent dying is an exceptional circumstance then I don’t know what is.’

'I think it’s disgusting. Graham is dead now. As soon as we came back from holiday he was more or less in the hospice.’

‘The kids talk about that holiday every single week. His last wish has been granted, and they’ll always remember their grandad. It’s just a shame it’s ended like this.’

Head teacher Tim Mitchell said: We don’t think it’s appropriate to discuss the details of this individual case.’

‘Head teachers should only authorise a leave of absence in exceptional circumstances,’ he added.

Mr Mitchell did not clarify whether or not Sally’s case was ‘exceptional’ or not and refused to comment further on the case.