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IoW Council response after dad who refused to pay fine wins term time school holiday case

The Isle of Wight Council fined father Jon Platt for taking his daughter on holiday in term time

The Isle of Wight Council has released a statement in response to losing a case at the High Court against a dad who took his child on holiday during term time.

Jon Platt, from the Isle of Wight, took his daughter out of school during term time to go on a holiday to Florida. He refused to pay a fine for doing so, saying his daughter's overall school attendance was very good - and her absences were below the threshold stated in education guidelines.

The leader of the council said they would be passing the case to the Department for Education for further clarification on the matter, "...for the benefit of parents, schools and local authorities alike."

“This case was always about seeking clarification on this matter and unfortunately today's ruling has created massive uncertainty and cast a shadow of doubt over the policies of schools and local authorities across the country.

“The Department for Education had outlined what it considered to be ‘regular’ attendance, which was that children should attend school every day, and it is under that assumption that we acted. It is also clear that attendance and educational attainment are intertwined, however today's ruling may be taken to imply that parents can take children out of school on holiday for up the three weeks every year. This will clearly have a detrimental effect on the education of those children, the rest of their class and their teachers.

“I'm very disappointed about the failure to give clear guidance today. We need to consider the impact of this on the Island but it is clear it will also have an affect across the country. We will be pressing the Department for Education to urgently consider creating clear legislation on this matter for the benefit of parents, schools and local authorities alike.”

– Councillor Jonathan Bacon, Leader of Isle of Wight Council
  1. National

High Court ruling 'a victory for common sense'

The dad who refused to pay a fine for taking his six-year-old daughter out of school for a family trip to Florida said today's High Court ruling is a "victory for common sense."

Jon Platt was fined £60 by Isle of Wight Council after he took his family on the holiday, which included a visit to Walt Disney World, without permission from his child's school.

The fine was then doubled when he refused to pay and the case went before Isle of Wight Magistrates' Court in October.

Mr Platt won but the local authority appealed against the decision.

Lord Justice Lloyd Jones and Mrs Justice Thirlwall dismissed the challenge, ruling that the magistrates had not "erred in law" when reaching their decision.


  1. National

Dad wins landmark term-time holidays case

The High Court has ruled in favour of a father who took his daughter out of school to go on holiday.

Jon Platt refused to pay £120 for taking his six-year-old to Disney World Florida last year and because of her regular attendance, Isle of Wight magistrates ruled he had no case to answer.

But the council asked the High Court to rule on whether taking a seven-day absence amounts to regular attendance.

The ruling raises the prospect of similar challenges from parents of children in English state schools, for which tightened rules on authorised absences were introduced by the government in 2013.

Father to challenge council over term time holiday fine

Jon Platt has been given a new fine for taking his daughter on holiday during term time Credit: ITV Meridian

A father is due to challenge the Isle of Wight Council again - this time in the High Court.

Jon Platt, who's from the Island, has been handed a new fine for taking his daughter on another holiday during term-time.

He's refusing to pay it.

The local authority hopes to receive clarification on the issue.


Universities to be hit by pay dispute

Universities will be affected by industrial action Credit: ITV

Plans for a two-day national strike affecting universities have been confirmed. UCU members in higher education will walk out on the 25th and 26th of May as part of a dispute about pay. They've rejected an offer of 1.1%. University employers describe the decision to take action as "disappointing".

What to watch - the curtain rises on the 50th Brighton Festival

Tomorrow morning the curtain rises on the 50th Brighton Festival.

Over the next three weeks more than a thousand shows, exhibits and performances will delight, inspire and possibly bemuse audiences from across the world - at both the Festival and Fringe.

The pair have become so big now they rival Edinburgh as one of the largest arts extravaganzas in the UK. Andy Dickenson's been finding out more.

He speaks to Mark Rees, director of Digging for Shakespeare, Andrew Comben from Brighton Festival, Laurie Anderson, guest director of Brighton Festival, Julian Caddy from Brighton Fringe and Charles Linehan.

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