What you said about judges’ ruling over term-time holidays

Jon Platt and his wife Sally outside the Supreme Court in London. Picture by PA.
Jon Platt and his wife Sally outside the Supreme Court in London. Picture by PA.

The news that a father has lost a landmark legal battle at the UK’s highest court over taking his daughter to Disney World during school term time has caused a big debate among Mail readers.

Five justices at the Supreme Court unanimously allowed an appeal by education chiefs against an earlier ruling that Jon Platt had not acted unlawfully.

Mr Platt, who took his daughter on a seven-day family trip to Florida in April 2015 without the school’s permission, was prosecuted by Isle of Wight Council after he refused to pay a £120 penalty.

But local magistrates found there was no case to answer.

Two High Court judges in London upheld the magistrates’ decision, declaring Mr Platt was not acting unlawfully because his daughter had a good overall attendance record.

The council urged the Supreme Court to overturn the High Court decision, saying it raised important issues over what constitutes “regular attendance” at school.

In a poll on the Mail website which asked “Would being fined put you off taking children on holiday in term time?” 15% said yes while 85% said no.

Readers took to the Mail’s Facebook page to have their say.

Jodie Gorton wrote: “If holiday companies didn’t charge extraordinary prices, parents wouldn’t have to take children out of school.”

Greg Hildreth wrote: “People clearly do it as it’s more affordable, regulating the holiday companies is surely the obvious answer.”

Katharine Anne Craggs added: “Teachers have training days when the parents who work have to find childcare, sometimes with little notice, so parents should have the right to take their child out of school for holidays.”

Carol ‘Doris’ Smyrk added: “Not everybody is able to take their holidays in the school holidays because of work commitments.”

Tasha Mcintosh wrote: “The school my children go to has worked around this, they have swapped school holidays around in June so when other schools only have a week off their school have two weeks off.”