Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Term-time holiday father given second fine for Lapland trip

Jonathan Platt
Image caption Jon Platt insisted he would not be paying the fine he received after the family holiday to Lapland

A man at the centre of a High Court legal battle for taking his children on school term-time holidays has been fined over a second trip.

Jonathan Platt successfully contested a fine from Isle of Wight Council for taking his young daughter on a family holiday to Florida in April 2015.

He said he had received a new £60 fine after taking her to Lapland with other family members.

The council said it would not comment on individual cases.

Mr Platt made national headlines when he took his children to Disney World in Florida in April despite his six-year-old daughter's absence being refused by her primary school.

He has now insisted he would not be paying the fine he received after the second family holiday, this time to Lapland.

'Right thing to do'

Under current council policy, fines rise to £120 if unpaid before the parent is taken to court.

Mr Platt has argued the law only demands children attend school "regularly" - not every day - and that therefore it is not illegal to take his children on holiday.

He said: "It's not against the law. It's the right thing to do and it's good for my kids.

"This idea that I have to justify to Isle of Wight Council what I do with my kids is a nonsense.

"It's not ideal, but sometimes it's necessary and the law does not prevent me from doing so."

The council said it would not comment on individual cases "at the stage where a fixed penalty notice has been issued but not determined".

High Court case

Following the Disneyland trip, the council took Mr Platt to court after he refused to pay an initial fine, which was doubled to £120.

He won his case after he told magistrates that Section 444 of the Education Act did not put restrictions on holidays during term-time, provided pupils otherwise attended school regularly.

The council has applied to the High Court for clarification on what constitutes "regular" attendance at school. The court is due to hear the case later this year.

Mr Platt set up a crowdfunding webpage to help raise £25,000 for expected legal costs and has so far raised more than £2,000.

A council spokesman said it would "continue to implement the government's current statutory guidance around attendance, subject to the further clarity that it is seeking from the High Court on this point of law".

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