Term-time holiday ruling: council granted a final appeal

Landmark court case looks at when parents can be fined for taking their children out of school in term time

Martin George

Damian Hinds has said he would not expect parents to be fined £1,000 for taking their child out of school to go away on holiday

A High Court ruling that undermined the government’s crackdown on term-time holidays will face a final legal challenge next year.

Supreme Court justices today granted Isle of Wight Council permission to bring a last-ditch appeal in the case of a father who successfully challenged a fine for taking his daughter on an unauthorised trip during school term time.

Jon Platt was fined £120 for taking his daughter to Florida, but magistrates ruled that he had no case to answer because she attended school regularly during the rest of the school year.

The local education authority took the case to London's High Court, but senior judges backed the magistrates' ruling in favour of the father.

The council asked the Supreme Court for permission to launch a final legal challenge, because the case raises important issues for schools and families up and down the country.

A panel of three judges decided a hearing should go ahead, and there are plans for it to take place early next year.

'Pupils' life chances are at stake'

The Department for Education said it would now work with the council "to consider the next steps".

A spokeswoman said: "Our position remains that children should not be taken out of school without good reason.

"That is why we have tightened the rules and are supporting schools and local authorities to use their powers to tackle unauthorised absence.

"The evidence shows that every extra day of school missed can affect a pupil's chances of achieving good GCSEs, which has a lasting effect on their life chances – vindicating our strong stance on attendance.

"A child who is absent also impacts teachers, whose planning of lessons is disrupted by children missing large portions of teaching."

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Martin George

Martin George

Martin George is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @geomr

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