High Court Decision; Legal to Take Child On Holiday in Term Time

Friday, May 13, 2016 | By Verity Eyre
Today a high court has ruled that a parent did not break the law when they took their child out of school to go on holiday.

Today a high court has ruled that a parent did not break the law when they took their child out of school to go on holiday.

Jon Platt refused to pay the £60 fine issued to him by his daughters school in the Isle of Wight after they returned from an un-authorised holiday to Florida last year during school term-time. He also then took his daughter out of school in December so that she could experience a trip to Lapland and was fined an additional £60.

On ITV's Good Morning Britain Tv Show, Mr Platt said "If the law required 100 per cent attendance, if the law said your children must attend every single day in order to get a great education, the law would say that - but it does not,”

"We are not arguing on behalf of people whose kids don't go to school, I'm arguing on behalf of people whose kids go to school every single day and maybe once a year they take them out for five days.

"It does not harm them at all. How do I know? Because my own kids are doing really, really well in school. They never had 100% attendance but they never had less than 93% attendance.

"Paying the fine was an acceptance that I had committed a criminal offence, I was so indifferent to my children's wellbeing that it amounted to a criminal offence.

"That's just not true - I'm not such an incompetent parent or so indifferent to their wellbeing that I should be criminalised for it.”

The Department for Education said it would consider changing the law. “We will examine today’s judgement in detail but are clear that children’s attendance at school is non-negotiable so we will now look to change the legislation. We also plan to strengthen statutory guidance to schools and local authorities.” A spokesperson said.

The case cost Mr Platt £13,000 in legal fees plus a further £25,000 which he crowd-funded.