Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Term-time holiday dad gains support for possible High Court appeal

Jonathan Platt
Image caption Jon Platt insisted his six-year-old daughter's education did not suffer from the week-long family holiday in Florida

A father is preparing for a High Court legal battle to give parents the right to take children on term-time holidays.

Jonathan Platt successfully contested a fine from Isle of Wight Council for taking his young daughter on a family holiday to Florida in April.

He will now speak up on behalf of other parents when the council seeks High Court clarification on the law.

He is crowdfunding for £25,000 expected legal costs and raised more than £1,000 in the first 24 hours.

'What is regular?'

The father wrote on the fundraising page he would spend the money on "nothing other than legal fees for solicitors and barristers".

He added: "I will take nothing personally from the money, not even travelling costs."

Isle of Wight Council is asking the High Court for clarification on what constitutes "regular" attendance at school. As Mr Platt is a "person of interest" in the case, he has a right to attend.

He said he is arguing "on behalf of all parents".

Comments on the online crowdfunding page include: "Thank you for being our voice Jon, we are all behind you."

"Well done and good luck, let's hope common sense prevails."

Mr Platt took his children to Disneyland in Florida in April despite his daughter's absence being refused by her primary school.

The council took him to court after he refused to pay a £120 fine.

He won his case after he told magistrates that Section 444 of the Education Act did not put restrictions on holidays during term time, provided pupils otherwise attended school regularly.

The council has applied to the High Court for an opinion on whether "the unauthorised absence of a child for seven consecutive school days on holiday... amounts to the child failing to attend the school regularly".

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