Jon Platt school holiday fines High Court case on Friday

The nation’s media, not to mention parents of school children, will be waiting to find out which way the High Court judge will go on the case of school holiday fines tomorrow. OnTheWight will have the news as soon as the case is heard.

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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’).

Landmark ruling
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.

Image: -wit- under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 12th May, 2016 10:31pm



Filed under: Education, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Law & Order, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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13 Comments on "Jon Platt school holiday fines High Court case on Friday"

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I really hope the court finds for IWC. Education is too valuable to squander. To my mind “regular attendance” means you’re there when your supposed to be, unless there are extremely compelling reasons not to be. A family holiday is not extremely compelling. It’s a luxury. A luxury that many families can’t afford. Finding for Mr Platt would set a dangerous precedent that will leave empty seats… Read more »

Whether an absence is justified or not should be a decision to be taken jointly, by the child’s parents and the child’s teachers.

It is no business of the nanny state.

I hope Mr Platt is successful and this idiotic rule is kicked into the long grass where it belongs.


Ah I see, you want him to prosecuted because of envy. Got it.

We took my little girl out if school for a special holiday when my dad turned 60, we were fined but ultimately her maths and english improved so much she went from the bottom set to the top set because we were able to give her one on one time with out the disruption of other pupils out burst, we took my son at as well who… Read more »

Schools waste so much time, if a parent can prove a trip will enhance education cant see a problem


Quite right!

Far more education time is lost by poor teaching and organisation in schools than by a couple of weeks on away. My own daughter was taught the WRONG CURRICULUM for a whole term before someone spotted the error!!!

Also, why is it OK for a school to take a child on a term-time ski trip, but not a parent. What is the difference?

I love taking a family holiday and encourage i, in this day and age kids are at school then home work and straight on the tv, PC or tablet, a holiday where all gadgets are left at home and they are with family doing things they don’t usually do at home if a fantastic chance to to learn, try new things and get to know each other… Read more »

And of course the pachyderm in the boudoir the council is so flush with funds it can afford to persue this farce through the courts. Jobs for lawyers eh? What does the leader of the council do in the real world?


“Whether an absence is justified or not should be a decision to be taken jointly, by the child’s parents and the child’s teachers. It is no business of the nanny state.”

Well, yes, but the point is what happens when a parent and the school disagree. And one cannot really call The High Court of Justice “the nanny state.”


If Platt wins in The High Court, schooling in this country will descend into chaos, with teachers never knowing on a daily basis which children are going to turn up for class.


Parents will still have to arrange absences with the school, so they will know perfectly well who is going to turn up for class.

Vix Lowthion
We had a system, school based, before these fines were introduced 3 yrs ago which did not criminalise parents for a family holiday once a year. There was no chaos or anarchy. Yes, excellent school attendance is necessary to make progress. But at what price – only the rich being able to afford a fine or inflated school holiday prices? A criminal record for taking your family… Read more »

I see that Jon has won his case and common sense has won the day.