Council gets green light for Supreme Court challenge over term time holidays

Judge says the case of a child taken to Florida during the school term raises a point of ‘general public importance’

A local authority has been told that it can apply to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal against a High Court judgment in favour of a father who was fined for taking his daughter on holiday during term time.

Senior judge Lord Justice Lloyd Jones, sitting in London, formally certified the case raised “a point of law of general public importance”.

The father, Jon Platt, was originally fined £120 for taking his daughter to Florida but magistrates ruled that he had no case to answer because she attended school regularly during the rest of the school year.

The local authority took the case to the High Court for clarification, and Mr Platt won the backing of the senior judges.

The ruling caused the government to announce that it would consider making alterations to the law over absences, which comes under section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996.

Schools minister Nick Gibb requested the council return to court to appeal against the decision, and has promised Department for Education funding and legal counsel for the application if it goes to the Supreme Court.

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