Parents face fine over ski star’s Bulgaria trip

Oliver Yarnton wrapped up for skiing
Oliver Yarnton wrapped up for skiing
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A TALENTED young skier has taken part in a prestigious European showcase - but his parents face a fine for taking him out of school during term time.

Oliver Yarnton, 11, was invited to fly out to Bulgaria for the Boro Sports event last week, and the Red Lake pupil spent five days dazzling snow sports enthusiasts and industry insiders with his skills.

But his proud parents Jay and Deana were stunned when they found out they could have to cough up £100 for what the school sees as an unauthorised absence.

Mr Yarnton told the Observer: “We have been going skiing in Bulgaria for years - the first time we took Oliver he was a babe in arms and the second time he was toddling around the slopes.

“He has been skiing since he can walk and we were so proud of him because this is a major event.

“But it was very disappointing to find out we could be fined.

“We went into see the school and took all the paperwork to explain where he was going.

“He had to miss the week because you can’t just get off a plane and go straight into the show.

“The school he used to be at was as proud as punch about what he was doing.”

Oliver has been offered a scholarship to Buckswood where he will be starting in September.

His father added: “Young people get a hard time and need lifting up to show what can be achieved with years of hard work and dedication.”

Elizabeth Brown, headteacher of Red Lake School said: “While we cannot discuss this case in detail, when parents want to take their child out of school there has to be exceptional circumstances to justify disruption to their education.

“Any application by parents is examined in very close detail before we decide whether to authorise it or not.

“That is what happened in this case.”

A spokesman for East Sussex County Council said schools set their own policies concerning absence and are free to enforce them as they see fit.