Dad Wins Term-Time Holiday High Court Fight

Dad Wins Term-Time Holiday High Court Fight

A dad who refused to pay a fine for taking his daughter out of school to attend a family holiday during term-time has won his battle in the High Court.

BBC News reports:

Isle of Wight Council had asked the High Court to clarify whether a seven-day absence amounted to a child failing to attend regularly.

Lord Justice Lloyd Jones and Mrs Justice Thirlwall dismissed the council's challenge, ruling that the magistrates had not "erred in law" when reaching their decision.

They ruled that the magistrates were entitled to take into account the "wider picture" of the child's attendance record outside of the dates she was absent during the holiday.

According to media reports, this looks to be a landmark ruling which changes the way the law - which states only that parents must ensure their children attend school regularly - is applied.

In other words, it could see the end of a term-time ban on holidays, provided that the child attends school regularly. Great news for parents and carers who feel priced out of family holidays due to term-time holiday restrictions and the high cost of going on holiday during school holidays.

Current regulations, introduced in 2013, allow a school's principal to grant permission for a child to be taken out of school during term time in 'exceptional circumstances'.

Platt was initially fined £60 by the council for taking his daughter out of school for seven days to attend a family holiday in Disney World, Florida. This was doubled to £120 after he failed to pay within the timescale. The authority argued that the absence didn't meet the 'exceptional circumstances' rule but Platt refused to pay up and took the dispute all the way to the High Court, which ruled in his favour.

However change may be short lived as a Department for Education source told Sky News: "We will look at the judgement in detail but are clear that children's attendance at school is non-negotiable so we will now look to change the law."

Do you welcome this landmark ruling and would being able to take your child out of school to during term-time change your holiday plans? We'd love to hear your thoughts - share them in the comments below or join the debate over on our Facebook page.

Sign up for our newsletter

Get more deals from Playpennies with our daily newsletter

By clicking "sign up", you confirm that you agree to our privacy policy & consent to receiving marketing emails.


Reply to
  • Katiekate

    I say well done to the chap. I'm a teacher and I personally don't think there is anything wrong with taking children out of school if their general attendance is good. Obviously there are times when this wouldn't be good eg exam periods etc but for some it's the only chance they get for a holiday and if that means missing school then so be it. It's not the be all and end all plus like someone else commented learning doesn't just take place in the classroom. Visiting other cultures and places is all learning too. I'm just jealous I can't holiday in term time. The government are thinking of making all schools academies so that schools can pick their own holidays. This to me is crazy and will cause a whole host of problems that these idiots fail to consider. 

    • mum05

      Took our 10yr old out of school last year during term time explained to head teacher we needed the holiday as my husband had just finished a 6 mths of chemo for cancer..... we had a hard time telling family and my young son we needed this holiday as the treatment was through summer holidays so could not go until after treatment had finished WE GOT FINED disgraceful after such a hard painful time especially for a young boy and my husband      he is clear now but this law stinks