Isle of Wight Council v Platt (Unreported, Div Ct): the Council appealed by way of case stated against the magistrates' court's decision that there was no case to answer against P in relation to an allegation that he had taken his child out of school for a holiday during term-time, contrary to s.144 of the Education Act 1996. The magistrates' court accepted P's submission that there was no case to answer as the child had attended school regularly and concluded that P had not failed to secure the child's regular attendance at school. The Council submitted that the question was not simply whether the child attended school regularly but whether he had attended during the period in question and the only finding that should have been made was whether there had been regular attendance during that period.
The court held, dismissing the appeal, that whether there was regular attendance was an issue of fact and degree. The question of whether attendance had been regular had to be looked at in the wider context and not just during the limited period of the holiday. The magistrates had correctly had regard to the wider picture. It could not be said that they had reached a decision that was not reasonably open to them. The magistrates had not erred in law by taking into account dates outside the dates of the holiday. (13 May 2016)
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