Published on Thursday, April 6, 2017
A ban on parents taking their children on term-time holidays has been upheld by the Supreme Court in a landmark ruling issued today.
In a unanimous decision, the justices upheld a fine imposed on father Jon Platt who took his daughter on a trip to Florida in April 2015 despite being refused permission by the girl's head teacher.
They overturned last May's ruling by the High Court, which had agreed with Platt that he shouldn't have been fined £60 by his local education authority because his daughter had a good attendance record.
Delivering the judgment, the deputy president of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale, said: "Unauthorised absences have a disruptive effect, not only on the education of the individual child but also on the work of other pupils.
"If one pupil can be taken out whenever it suits the parent, then so can others.
"Any educational system expects people to keep the rules. Not to do so is unfair to those obedient parents who do keep the rules, whatever the costs or inconvenience to themselves."
The Isle of Wight had appealed to the Supreme Court with the backing of the Department for Education, which introduced new regulations in 2013 that removed head teacher's ability to grant students up to two weeks of term-time leave.
Since the earlier High Court ruling, several local authorities had stopped fining parents who took their children on term-time holidays while waiting for today's ruling.
The case against Platt will now be returned to the local magistrates court, where his plea of having no case to answer due to his daughter's 92% attendance at school will be rejected.
Perhaps not surprisingly, in a TravelMole poll carried out this week, 58% of you said that parents should be allowed to take children out of school for holidays.
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