Court date set for school holiday fine appeal

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Jon Platt, a father who successfully overturned a £120 fine for taking his daughter on holiday during term time, is due to appear back in court on 13 May to decide a crucial piece of information about school attendance.

Mr Platt took his daughter out of school last April for a family holiday and challenged the resulting fine issued by the Isle of Wight Council. He later had the punishment overturned in a court victory.

Magistrates ruled that Mr Platt – who spent £1,000 on lawyers’ fees – had not broken the law because his daughter was only away from school for a total of 8 days and her attendance was still above 90%.

The landmark case will decide the definition of ‘regular attendance’ for the purpose of s444 of the Education Act 1996.

Depending on the outcome, parents could legally take their children on holiday for the first time since the fines for school absence were introduced, provided that the child attends regularly throughout the rest of the year.

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