Dad found guilty in school absence case

Jon Platt
Jon Platt
Youngsters at Manor Infant School and Nursery celebrate with headteacher Ashley Howard, centre. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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A father who fought a long-running legal battle over taking his child on a term-time holiday has been found guilty over the unauthorised trip.

Jon Platt was convicted of failing to secure his daughter’s regular attendance at school in a hearing at Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court.

Giving the judgment, magistrate Jeannie Walker said: “The circumstances of this case fall squarely into that breach of school rules.”

Platt was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £2,000 costs plus a £20 surcharge.

He said afterwards he was ‘relieved that’s it’s over’.

‘This has gone on far too long and far to much money has been spent on it by me and the taxpayer,’ he said.

Platt said he has spent close to £30,000 on fighting the case, with additional funds covered by legal aid.

Figures disclosed to the Press Association under Freedom of Information laws have shown, as of May 10, the Department for Education had spent close to £140,000 pursuing the legal action.

The case returned to Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court, where it began almost two years ago, after Mr Platt lost a landmark legal battle at the Supreme Court, the UK’s highest court, this year over taking his daughter to Disney World in 2015 in school time.