The High Court has ruled that schools, not parents or magistrates, have the power to decide when pupils can be taken out of classes for family holidays. It is always good to see the courts ruling in favour of common sense but wider action is needed to tackle this problem. Part of it stems from the travel industry making it financially beneficial to do this, and it's good to see action being taken there, but a key issue is the failure of schools to align the holidays and half-terms.
When I was at school my sister and I frequently had different half terms (at one point three weeks apart!) and this often prevented the family from taking a trip away, as well as making day trips more expensive as they had to be duplicated (and some activities were only available during the "standard" half-term). This experience was far from unique and there are many cases of primary and secondary schools in overlapping catchment areas being out of sync. Aligning half-terms will not solve all the problems of holiday truancy but it would be a step in the right direction.