TT star John McGuinness has spoken of his dismay after being fined for taking his daughter out of school so she could watch him race.
The Morecambe Missile, whose Senior Race victory earned him £18,000, was fined £120 for taking five-year-old daughter Maisie on holiday during term-time for this year’s TT festival.
He said he was aware he would be fined for his daughter’s absence from Great Wood Primary School, Morecambe, during the race fortnight.
The family were granted permission for an earlier trip to Australia but were told another trip would result in a fine.
McGuinness, 43, said he would take the fine on the chin but questioned why the money does not go to the school.
The father-of-two told our sister newspaper the Morecambe Visitor: ‘I just can’t understand why the money doesn’t go back into the school.’
The motorcycle ace, who won his seventh Senior TT title this year, his 23rd TT victory, said he simply cannot compete without his family by his side.
He said: ‘The TT is the biggest most dangerous thing for me and I have my family around me for it.
‘I do a mainly risky job, you can’t concentrate without your family around you, they are my rock, I need them around me in situations like this.
‘My dad goes to the TT and most of the family are in the Isle of Man so I can’t leave the kids with nobody. When we are there my wife takes the children everywhere, to museums, so they are learning all the time. For as long as I am riding they will be there.’
The McGuinness family are looking at other options next year for the TT races when 14-year-old Ewan will be sitting his GCSEs.
John said: ‘Ewan is 15 next year so we will have to think about that. We have been speaking to Morecambe High for him to maybe do exams in the Isle of Man.’
Permission needs to be granted by the head teacher if parents want to take their children on holiday during term-time.
This can only be done by completing an application to the head in advance or if there is exceptional circumstances.
John Ross, head teacher at Great Wood, said: ‘It would be inappropriate for us to comment on individual pupils.’