What you said about judges’ legal ruling over term-time holidays

Jon Platt and his wife Sally outside the Supreme Court in London, where he lost a court battle over taking his daughter on holiday to Disney World during school term-time. Pic: PA.
Jon Platt and his wife Sally outside the Supreme Court in London, where he lost a court battle over taking his daughter on holiday to Disney World during school term-time. Pic: PA.

The news that a father has lost a landmark legal battle at the UK’s highest court over taking his daughter to Disney World during school term time would not deter Gazette readers from doing the same.

Five justices at the Supreme Court unanimously allowed an appeal by education chiefs against an earlier ruling that Jon Platt had not acted unlawfully.

Mr Platt, who took his daughter on a seven-day family trip to Florida in April 2015 without the school’s permission, was prosecuted by Isle of Wight Council after he refused to pay a £120 penalty.

But local magistrates found there was no case to answer.

Two High Court judges later upheld the magistrates’ decision, declaring Mr Platt was not acting unlawfully because his daughter had a good overall attendance record.

In a poll on the Gazette website which asked: “Would being fined put you off taking children on holiday in term time?” 15% said yes while 85% said no.

Coun Joan Atkinson, lead member for children, young people and families at South Tyneside Council, said: “We know children who attend school regularly perform better and gain better qualifications than those with poorer attendance. Absence can cause a child’s education to suffer as lessons and extra-curricular activities are missed and continuity of work is lost.

“We encourage parents and carers to ensure their children attend school and avoid taking their children out of school during term time.

“Since Government regulations changed in 2013 our schools have been very diligent about applying the new rules around holidays in term time.”