Isle of Wight father, Jon Platt, who rose to national fame for fighting a court case brought against him by the Isle of Wight council for refusing to pay school absence fines, will be in the High Court tomorrow (Friday).
Why the High Court?
Last year Jon took his six year old daughter out of school for six days for a family holiday. He argued in court that as her attendance level was 94%, the decision to take out her out school during term time was his, as a parent, to make.
Isle of Wight Magistrates said Jon had no case to answer, but the Isle of Wight council subsequently applied to the High Court for clarification on the definition of ‘regular attendance’ for pupils.
The case will be heard on Friday morning at 10.30am.
National media attention
There’s been huge media attention surrounding this case and Jon has been busy filming today for BBC’s One Show, to be aired on Friday night following the decision.
The media frenzy starts on Friday morning at 6.15am with a live radio interview, followed by a live slot on ITV’s Good Morning Britain at 7.10am.
Jon will then be live on BBC R4’s Today programme at 7.30am, prior being whisked to Broadcasting House to do a couple more interviews, one with the Victoria Derbyshire Show, before heading off to the High Court.
Outcome either way will have a huge impact
OnTheWight spoke to Jon earlier today about the case.
He told us that all cases on the Isle of Wight for non-payment of school absence fines had been put on hold over the last six months and that should the IWC win their case tomorrow, it will have a big impact on parents who have cases pending.
Jon said he was told by a national journalist there had been a ‘massive rise’ in the number of children being home-schooled, although it wasn’t clear whether that was since the introduction of fines for school absence (other than for illness, religious observance or ‘unavoidable causes’).
If the case is thrown out by the High Court tomorrow, it could be used as a landmark ruling in thousands of cases across the country.
If the case is won, the IWC will be able to go back to the Isle of Wight Magistrates and, Jon says, he’ll have foot legal costs in the region of £25,000.
OnTheWight will have the outcome of the case as soon as it’s heard, so make sure you keep an eye out for updates in the morning.