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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


Children's questions for David Cameron

If you were face-to-face with the Prime Minister, David Cameron, what questions would you ask him?

First News - the UK's only children's newspaper - celebrated its tenth birthday by inviting ten of its 10-year-old readers to Number Ten to interview the PM.

Among them were two 10-year-olds from the south....James Wood from Hampshire and Ronan Cundy from Berkshire.

Boris tells steel workers: "The only way is out!"

Some experts say it's one of the most Eurosceptic towns in the country - so, where better for Boris Johnson - and his Vote Leave Battle Bus - to kick start the campaign than in Christchurch in Dorset.

Mr Johnson met steel workers there and said the only way is out!

The town has low immigration - just 1.7% of the population do not speak English as a first language.

In last year's General Election, around 80% of voters either backed long-standing Conservative MP, and leave campaigner, Chris Chope, OR his UKIP rival, Robin Grey.

Christchurch has also been named the retirement capital of the UK - 30% of the population are over 65.

So how did the Boris tour go this tourist town?


The Boris Battle Bus rolls into Dorset

Boris spreads his message in Dorset Credit: PA

It's been dubbed by experts as one of the most Eurosceptic towns in the country - and today Boris Johnson and his Vote Leave Battle Bus rolled in Christchurch in Dorset. He visited a steel factory.

Christchurch has low immigration. Just 1 point 7 percent of the population do not speak English as their first language.

The town is reliant on tourism and the popularity of nearby Bournemouth Airport. There are twin town arrangements with three EU countries

At last year's election, almost 80 percent of voters in Christchurch backed their long-standing Conservative MP and Leave campaigner, Chris Chope, OR his UKIP rival, who got more 18,000 votes.

Full report later.

Local elections: Conservatives hold on to Winchester

The local election count was at the city's Guildhall

Counting has been underway all day at the Guildhall in Winchester following the biggest election in the city since 2002. The results were confirmed this afternoon. The Conservatives have held on to control of the city council, despite a tough battle from the Lib Dems. Kate Bunkall was at the count on Saturday. Here's her report.

Local elections: Winchester City Council count over

The Conservatives retain control of Winchester City Council after this week's local elections. The entire body was up for re-election. The count has taken place at the city's Guildhall today.

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