It has been confirmed that the on-going term time holidays battle between Jon Platt and the Isle of Wight Council is to go before the highest court in the land on Tuesday 31st January.
After refusing to pay an initial fine of £60 for taking his daughter on holiday during term time, local businessman Jon Platt ended up in the court room where he was told by magistrates that he had no case to answer. The saga hit the national headlines when the Isle of Wight Council fought against the decision by the Isle of Wight Magistrates Court, taking the case to the High Court in London.
Now, Mr Platt’s legal battle could result in a dramatic change for parents right across the country as the case is heard at the Supreme Court. The legal action from the Isle of Wight Council’s side is being funded by the Department for Education.
Justices Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Reed, Lord Hughes and Lady Hale will preside over the case, the outcome of which could allow parents to take their children on holiday during term time.
Commenting on the news Island Conservatives’ Education spokesman, Cllr Chris Whitehouse (Newport West Ward) says:
“The Council’s vindictive harassment of Jon Platt and his family will be heard by the Supreme Court in London on 31st January. It is an outrage that Isle of Wight Council resources are being used to pursue this case against a responsible parent, who acted entirely in the best interests of his children and in accordance with Cllr Bacon’s own written policy on school absence. It’s clear that the Council Leader knows little about the real facts of this case or, as a parent himself, he would join me in backing the Platt family and would withdraw the case immediately before it is too late.”
Repeating earlier warnings about the implications of the case, Cllr Whitehouse added:
“This is no longer just about one parent and one child. What Council Leader Jonathan Bacon would have the Supreme Court do is to criminalise retrospectively the actions of tens of thousands of parents, on and off the Island, over decades, by seeking to overturn all previous court decisions in this area of policy. This is madness, an arrogance of power, with no accountability at all given this case has never been backed by Full Council.”
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Island Conservatives have also pledged that if elected to run the Isle of Wight Council in May they will have a deep and meaningful consultation with parents, pupils, teachers and employers about whether to change term time dates to give parents more flexibility in terms of taking off-peak holidays and in driving up education standards.