Term-time holiday case cost Isle of Wight Council £25k

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Jon PlattImage source, PA
Image caption,
Jon Platt said he was "hugely relieved" after the High Court ruled in his favour

A High Court battle over a father's refusal to pay fines for taking his daughter on holiday during school term time has cost a council nearly £25,000.

Jon Platt refused to pay a £120 fine issued by Isle of Wight Council after his daughter's absence in April 2015.

Magistrates ruled he had no case to answer because, overall, his daughter attended school regularly.

The High Court, asked to decide whether magistrates had made a mistake, then also ruled in Mr Platt's favour.

The authority now faces a bill of £10,000 and must also cover Mr Platt's costs of £14,631.

After the ruling, the government said it would consider making alterations to the law.

Case 'justified'

Council leader Jonathan Bacon said: "We had sought a clear binding ruling to give clarity for parents, schools, the council and the courts in relation to unauthorised absence from school.

"While I was surprised that this clarity was not forthcoming in the judgement of the High Court on Friday, the resultant expression from the Department for Education that it will now look to change the legislation... means that the Isle of Wight Council was justified in taking this case to the High Court."

Mr Platt, 44, took his daughter to Disney World in Florida in April 2015, despite her school refusing permission for the trip.

He was issued with a £60 fixed penalty fine, which doubled to £120 after he missed the payment deadline.

Following his refusal to pay the increased fine, the council prosecuted him for failing to ensure that his daughter attended school regularly, contrary to section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996.

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