Council wins term-time holiday legal battle

Isle of Wight Council has welcomed a ruling by the Supreme Courty that its decision to fine a father who took his daughter on an unauthorised term-time holiday was legal.

The news comes after the local authority appealed against an earlier High Court decision which ruled in favour of Jon Platt, who had refused to pay a £120 fine for taking his daughter out of school for a week in Florida.

Platt argued his daughter had a good attendance record and so should be allowed to take time off without the school’s permission.

A spokesman for the council said: “The Supreme Court’s judgment provides much needed clarity about what constitutes regular attendance at school, to schools, parents and local education authorities.

“The Isle of Wight Council will ensure it continues to apply its code of conduct in relation to school absence and in accordance with this judgment."

Cllr Richard Watts, chair of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Children and Young People Board also welcomed the ruling: “Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court provides further clarity but it is important that the Department for Education works with schools and councils to avoid any further doubt about the law.

“What is needed is certainty for parents, teachers and councils, so that head teachers have the confidence to approve or reject requests for term-time leave in the best interests of pupils.

“The guidance provided to schools needs to be urgently updated to reflect the judgement. I will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Department for Education to ensure further clarity is provided for all involved."

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