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Right to schooltime holidays to be tested in the High Courts

Head of International Travel Law Nick Harris

Author:
Dated: 12th November 2015

A father seeking parental rights to take children on holiday during a school term is getting ready to argue his case before the High Court.

Isle of Wight Council took magistrates' action against Mr Platt after he declined to pay a council fine of £120.

Mr Platt won the case when he advised the court that a section of the Education Act does not restrict vacations during school termsa as long as students' attendances are otherwise good.

Term term school holiday dilemma

Speaking up in support of many parents

With Isle of Wight Council now seeking legal clarification in the High Court on what defines "regular" school attendance, Mr Platt hopes to speak in support of parents facing similar predicaments.

To finance his initiative Mr Platt is seeking crowdfunding to the tune of £25,000, of which the first day of his appeal raised £1,000.

Mr Platt has stressed that any money he raises will be spent on legal costs and that he "will take nothing personally… not even for travelling".

High season often too expensive

"Many parents struggle to afford family holidays at peak times of the year," Nick Harris of Simpson Millar LLP said.

"Yet because the Department of Education prefers parents not to take children out of school unless circumstances are 'exceptional', these are often the only periods during which family holidays are theoretically allowed.

"Clearly each side of the argument has a case. While a child's education is critically important, so too are those 2 or 3 short weeks in the year for family holidays, which many parents cannot afford in the high season.

"We await the High Court's decision on this with great interest."