Term-time holidays: Isle of Wight Council appeals after case rejected

The BBC is reporting that Isle of Wight Council is beginning a High Court appeal after the case against a father who took his child on holiday during term-time was thrown out by magistrates.

Jon Platt was taken to court after refusing to pay a £120 fine for taking his daughter, aged six, to Florida…

At a magistrates’ court earlier this month he successfully argued Section 444 of the Education Act required parents ensured their children attended school “regularly”, and did not put restrictions on taking them on holidays in term time.

His daughter had a 93.8% attendance rate the previous academic year.

Isle of Wight Council said it has started the formal process of appeal to the High Court for clarification on a matter of law.

Council leader Jonathan Bacon said: “The recent media attention given to this case shows that there is interest, concern and, above all, uncertainty as to what constitutes ‘regular attendance’ for the purposes of the legislation in question. 

“The Isle of Wight Council has received clear advice that the magistrates may have failed to interpret and apply the law correctly in making their decision. 

“Where the law created by Parliament is uncertain, the appeal courts have the ability to lay down a binding ruling as to the correct interpretation of the law.”

More at: Term-time holidays: Isle of Wight Council appeals after case rejected


The DfE has already said that, as a magistrates’ court decision, this case did not set a precedent but it will be very interesting to see the outcome of the High Court appeal.

Do you feel more clarification would be helpful to all parties here?

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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove One wonders how much money’s being spent on legally clarifying this policy? Is this the best use of money in an era of cuts?

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove This term time holiday policy implemented by Gove has been a headache; the old way of allowing HTs to decide worked fine

  3. Nairb1

    It was clear from the start that the magistrates had interpreted the law incorrectly but at least it has resulted in some action which should clear up the mess Gove created once and for all.

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